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News Release
4/23/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA –Health insurance giants Kaiser, Blue Shield, Wellpoint/Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, United Health and the California Association of Health Plans have now given over $25 million of policyholder money, including nearly $12 million this month, to the campaign against a November 2014 ballot measure that will prevent overcharges and misuse of premium dollars.   The...
Video
4/3/2014
Jamie Court, proponent of the ballot measure and President of Consumer Watchdog, appears on MidDay Sunday to discuss the healthcare initiative and the extension of auto insurance rate regulation to health insurance.   Source: www.myfoxla.com/story/25104359/consumer-watchdog-tony-and-alana-pack-patient-safety-act
News Release
3/26/2014
Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – Health insurance giant WellPoint this week threatened “double-digit plus” rate hikes next year, but won’t get away with unjustified increases if voters approve a California ballot measure to increase health insurance rate transparency and accountability this November, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign.   “Is anyone surprised that WellPoint...
News Release
3/7/2014
Samuel Chu
Santa Monica, CA – California’s largest health insurance companies have hired a Democratic party “insider”, former executive director of the Democratic Party, Kathy Bowler, to try to stop Consumer Watchdog’s November ballot measure to limit excessive health insurance rate hikes, ahead of the March California Democratic Party (CDP) Convention in Los Angeles, and the...
News Release
1/31/2014
Carmen Balber & Mark Reback
Santa Monica, CA – Anthem Blue Cross and its parent company WellPoint have given $12.9 million to defeat a California ballot initiative that would require health insurance companies to get approval for rate hikes, like the increase of up to 25% Anthem proposes for over 306,000 Californians on April 1. If approved on this November’s ballot, the measure will allow the state insurance...
News Release
1/22/2014
Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Blue Shield Life and Health is imposing an unreasonable rate increase on over 80,000 Californians with individual health insurance policies, an average of 9.8% that adds up to a 22.8% increase for the year. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that the company would not budge on its excessive rate hike. Working with an independent actuary, AIS...
Blog Post
11/22/2013
By Jamie Court
An analysis just released by California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, offers the first real insight into the depth of the Obamacare cancellation crisis. About 450,000 of the 900,000 cancelled California policyholders will see rate hikes, according to the analysis released by Covered California.  That’s 50% of all cancelled Californians who will be paying more...
News Release
11/21/2013
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Leaders of California's health insurance marketplace today voted to block a reprieve on health insurance cancellations proposed by President Obama last week and to allow health insurance companies to hike rates on 50% of cancelled Californians. The move shows the need for regulation of health insurance prices in California, a reform voters will have the chance to...
Blog Post
11/19/2013
Harvey Rosenfield
Regulation of insurance companies, introduced by Proposition 103, could repair a loophole in the Affordable Care Act. "We didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law," an apologetic President Obama said this month, shortly after millions of Americans got notices from their health insurance companies that their current policies were going to be canceled because...
Video
11/18/2013
Millions of Californians affected after health insurers cancel their current plans have been given a reprieve. Insurers can now extend plans into 2014 under the affordable care act. California insurance commissioner Dave Jones says insurers demanded provisions before the laws went into effect. Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog has asked Covered California to send out notices that cancellations...
Blog Post
11/22/2013
By Jamie Court
An analysis just released by California’s health insurance exchange, Covered California, offers the first real insight into the depth of the Obamacare cancellation crisis. About 450,000 of the 900,000 cancelled California policyholders will see rate hikes, according to the analysis released by Covered California.  That’s 50% of all cancelled Californians who will be paying more...
Blog Post
11/19/2013
Harvey Rosenfield
Regulation of insurance companies, introduced by Proposition 103, could repair a loophole in the Affordable Care Act. "We didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law," an apologetic President Obama said this month, shortly after millions of Americans got notices from their health insurance companies that their current policies were going to be canceled because...
Blog Post
6/29/2012
By Jamie Court
The finish line has moved forward, but our cause has become even more crucial. You probably know that the Supreme Court upheld vital consumer protections but also ruled that all Californians will have to buy health insurance. Yesterday was also the deadline for county election officials in California to certify that we had enough valid signatures to put our ballot initiative to force health...
Blog Post
5/31/2012
Judy Dugan
Thursday's reports that some Californians will get rebates on their health insurance premiums are a little bit of good news--but not nearly as good as it could be.   An L.A. Times story reports that California small businesses and their employees who are insured by United Health Group will get rebates averaging $98 on last year's premiums because United Health didn't spend at...
Blog Post
5/24/2012
Judy Dugan
Wow. People really don't like insurance companies or their overpaid CEOs. Our news release Wednesday, and a similar message to our mailing list, cheered the pending departure of Blue Shield CEO Bruce Bodaken. We included a rundown of how he treated his customers in the last few years: A rate increase proposal of up to 86% in a year. A corporate stash of $3.2 billion in excessive reserves...
Blog Post
5/23/2012
Jamie Court
The long time CEO of Blue Shield Bruce Bodaken resigned today after a multi-year battle with us over disclosure of his $4.6 million annual salary and unreasonable premium hikes. During his tenure, Bodaken oversaw a health insurance company that has raised rates by tens of millions of dollars while stockpiling $3.2 billion more in “reserves” than the state requires. Blue Shield is...
Blog Post
5/12/2012
Daniel Palay
Next week we will be turning in the signatures for our ballot petition to force health insurance companies to justify their rates and get permission before instituting their rate hikes. Download, sign and return in the mail by the end of the weekend to be part of the signature turn-in or forever hold your peace. This short video preview of the initiative by our friends in Hollywood explains why...
Blog Post
5/7/2012
Jamie Court
Two years ago, as federal health reform lay on death’s door, CEO Angela Braly, head of Blue Cross’s parent company Wellpoint, spit on beleaguered patients. She sat through poignant Congressional testimony from customers whose lives were being ruined by spiraling premium hikes, then Braly testified that the public outrage was "a triumph of sound bites over substance." The...
Blog Post
5/1/2012
Carmen Balber
One million Californians will be slammed today with health insurance rate hikes as high as 20%. Consumer Watchdog Campaign has a solution. Watch this short, funny movie trailer about an alternative future with no rate hikes, and share it with your friends. Health insurance price hikes recur more often than Groundhog Day -- Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall. Now there’s something Californians...
Blog Post
4/23/2012
Laurel Kaufer
My name is Laurel Kaufer and I’m a Consumer Watchdog member. I am also one of the one million Californians who will be hit with a health insurance rate hike on May 1st. Are you one of the May Million facing rate hikes of up to 20%? As a self-employed, single mom, I’ve struggled for more than a decade to balance the cost of health care with the need to seek medical help for my family...
News Release
4/23/2014
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA –Health insurance giants Kaiser, Blue Shield, Wellpoint/Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net, United Health and the California Association of Health Plans have now given over $25 million of policyholder money, including nearly $12 million this month, to the campaign against a November 2014 ballot measure that will prevent overcharges and misuse of premium dollars.   The...
News Release
3/26/2014
Carmen Balber
SANTA MONICA, CA – Health insurance giant WellPoint this week threatened “double-digit plus” rate hikes next year, but won’t get away with unjustified increases if voters approve a California ballot measure to increase health insurance rate transparency and accountability this November, said Consumer Watchdog Campaign.   “Is anyone surprised that WellPoint...
News Release
3/7/2014
Samuel Chu
Santa Monica, CA – California’s largest health insurance companies have hired a Democratic party “insider”, former executive director of the Democratic Party, Kathy Bowler, to try to stop Consumer Watchdog’s November ballot measure to limit excessive health insurance rate hikes, ahead of the March California Democratic Party (CDP) Convention in Los Angeles, and the...
News Release
1/31/2014
Carmen Balber & Mark Reback
Santa Monica, CA – Anthem Blue Cross and its parent company WellPoint have given $12.9 million to defeat a California ballot initiative that would require health insurance companies to get approval for rate hikes, like the increase of up to 25% Anthem proposes for over 306,000 Californians on April 1. If approved on this November’s ballot, the measure will allow the state insurance...
News Release
1/22/2014
Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Blue Shield Life and Health is imposing an unreasonable rate increase on over 80,000 Californians with individual health insurance policies, an average of 9.8% that adds up to a 22.8% increase for the year. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that the company would not budge on its excessive rate hike. Working with an independent actuary, AIS...
News Release
11/21/2013
Jamie Court & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Leaders of California's health insurance marketplace today voted to block a reprieve on health insurance cancellations proposed by President Obama last week and to allow health insurance companies to hike rates on 50% of cancelled Californians. The move shows the need for regulation of health insurance prices in California, a reform voters will have the chance to...
News Release
11/14/2013
Carmen Balber & Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog today applauded President Obama’s move to delay cancellations of health insurance plans for millions of Americans, one week after the nonprofit group called for a moratorium, but expressed concern that consumers will still face steep rate hikes in January. Consumer Watchdog called on the President to endorse reforms to require health insurance...
News Release
8/27/2013
Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – The Field Poll released a survey today finding that 50% of California voters have difficulty affording health care, and 73% say insurance costs are the most difficult to afford. California voters will soon have the chance to make health insurance more affordable by requiring insurance companies to publicly justify and get approval for health insurance rates before they...
News Release
7/25/2013
Mark Reback
Washington DC -- Health insurance giant WellPoint today announced a 24% profit increase in the 2nd quarter of 2013, as compared to last year, and the company's stock hit an all-time high of $90 per share on Wednesday. WellPoint reported it earned $800.1 million, or $2.64 per share, in the three months that ended June 30th, which is up about 24% from $643.6 million, or $1.94 per share a year...
News Release
6/19/2013
Harvey Rosenfield & Carmen Balber
Santa Monica, CA – Californians spent less per year on auto insurance in 2010 than they did in 1989, a rate reduction that no other state in the nation achieved according to a new Consumer Federation of America analysis of insurance industry data. California voters approved Proposition 103 in 1988 to regulate auto insurance rates and the ballot initiative set California apart from other...
News Story
4/21/2014
By Christoper Cadelago, SACRAMENTO BEE - CAPITOL ALERT
Good Friday was a good day for opponents of a ballot initiative to regulate health insurance prices. The coalition of doctors, hospitals and insurance companies last week reported collecting nearly $24 million from Blue Shield of California and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan. Half of the money was listed as loans to the campaign. The contributions follow more than $13 million in donations from...
News Story
4/16/2014
By David Gorn, CALIFORNIA HEALTHLINE
Before Californians have a chance to vote in November on a controversial ballot measure to regulate health insurance rate hikes they will be bombarded by advertising and media campaigns on both sides of the issue. Television and print blitzes are expected to begin at the end of June after the Secretary of State assigns numbers to propositions on the statewide ballot. "The fight doesn't...
News Story
4/7/2014
By Wendell Potter, HUFFINGTON POST POLITICS BLOG
Executives at health insurance giant WellPoint are predicting they will have to implement "double-digit plus" rate increases next year, demonstrating once again just how politically tone deaf and profit-obsessed they apparently are. When I read WellPoint CEO Joe Swedish comments in Modern Healthcare that, there will "undoubtedly be remarkable price increases" for health...
News Story
4/7/2014
By Alison Vekshin, BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
WellPoint Inc. (WLP:US), the second-largest U.S. health insurer, is leading companies that have poured $13.4 million into defeating a ballot initiative that would give California regulators the power to reject increases in health policy premiums. WellPoint, based in Indianapolis, gave $12.5 million and its Anthem Blue Cross unit gave $270,000 through April 2 to defeat the measure, according to...
News Story
3/24/2014
Host: Warren Olney, WHICH WAY LA? KCRW 89.9 FM
Click here to listen to the audio of this radio broadcast segment. Under Obamacare, almost everybody has to have health insurance by next Monday or pay a penalty. For those who aren't covered by their employers or aren't poor enough to qualify for a federal subsidy, rates are 53% higher than they were last year. People who kept their old policies say they’re not getting what they...
News Story
2/19/2014
By Thomas Hartman, BEST WIRE
WASHINGTON -- Advocates and opponents of California's Proposition 103 are debating whether it has helped consumers 25 years after its passage. Some say the debate is being used to sway voters who will determine whether measures similar to Proposition 103 should be applied to health insurance in the state this fall. Passed in 1988, the proposition required a 20% cut in automobile and property...
News Story
2/3/2014
By Alicia Caramenico, FIERCE HEALTH PAYER
Health insurance companies in California spent $13.8 million to defeat a state ballot initiative that would require them to get approval for rate hikes, according to the non-profit Consumer Watchdog Campaign. The ballot measure would require insurers to publicly justify rate increases under the penalty of perjury, ban excessive rate hikes, allow the public to challenge unjustified rate hikes and...
News Story
1/29/2014
By Paul Y. Song, Op-Ed Commentary - DAILY BREEZE
In my 20 years as a practicing oncologist, I have seen way too many of my vulnerable patients fall victim to our current health care system, which has become quite deleterious and very mischievous. In 2011, there were close to 2.5 million medical-related bankruptcies in the United States. Shockingly, 75 percent of these involved patients who actually had insurance. Since 2002, the private...
News Story
11/27/2013
By Amy Lotven, HEALTH EXCHANGE ALERT
CMS insurance chief Gary Cohen told stakeholders in a Thursday memo that in order to satisfy the administration's transitional policy on reinstating non-ACA compliant plans in 2014, insurers must inform consumers of their purchasing options using the exact language developed or approved by the agency, or CMS-approved state versions. Meanwhile, more state regulators have made announcements on...
News Story
11/26/2013
By Charles Ornstein, PROPUBLICA
During a meeting last week, officials at Covered California, the state’s much-touted health insurance marketplace, made a pretty stark admission: Half of the approximately 1 million consumers whose health plans are being canceled will pay more under the Affordable Care Act. The numbers, it seems, have been overshadowed by other, more positive headlines. First, the state signed...
Video
4/3/2014
Jamie Court, proponent of the ballot measure and President of Consumer Watchdog, appears on MidDay Sunday to discuss the healthcare initiative and the extension of auto insurance rate regulation to health insurance.   Source: www.myfoxla.com/story/25104359/consumer-watchdog-tony-and-alana-pack-patient-safety-act
Video
11/18/2013
Millions of Californians affected after health insurers cancel their current plans have been given a reprieve. Insurers can now extend plans into 2014 under the affordable care act. California insurance commissioner Dave Jones says insurers demanded provisions before the laws went into effect. Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog has asked Covered California to send out notices that cancellations...
Video
3/7/2013
The California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, held a press conference to criticize Blue Shield for an unjust rate hike which he is currently powerless to stop. The commissioner went on to remind the audience there is a chance to change that on the 2014 Ballot, which will feature a proposition that will force insurance companies to justify their rates before they can take effect.
Video
12/5/2012
Health insurance companies - including Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Kaiser, Health Net and United HealthCare - are raising rates by double digits AGAIN. The difference this time is that we can make them pay us back with a refund! Please watch this one minute video and join us in getting a refund of our excessive premium dollars.
Video
5/21/2012
Fed up with the endless rate hikes health insurers in California impose on them, over 800,000 Californians signed the petition to put a proposition on the November ballot that would force health insurers to publicly justify their rate hikes and seek approval from the state insurance commissioner before they can take effect.
Video
5/19/2012
Consumer Watchdog's Harvey Rosenfield and Jamie Court join with other consumer advocates and the State's Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, to turn in the quarter million signatures collected in LA County. These signatures - counting over 800,000 state-wide - will allow voters to decide next November if health insurers should have to publicly justify their rate hikes before they can take...
Video
5/1/2012
One million Californians will be slammed today with health insurance rate hikes as high as 20%. Consumer Watchdog Campaign has a solution. Watch this short, funny movie trailer about an alternative future with no rate hikes, and share it with your friends. Health insurance price hikes recur more often than Groundhog Day -- Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall. Now there’s something Californians can...
Video
4/30/2012
Consumer Watchdog's Harvey Rosenfield stops by the Blue Cross headquarters in San Fransisco to discuss and promote a ballot proposition that would force health insurers to publicly justify their rate increases before they could take effect.
Video
4/19/2012
Health insurance rates are going up. California's third largest health insurer, Aetna, has announced a new rate hike for many customers in California, which could be as high as 21%. The State Insurance Commissioner says it's excessive and consumer advocates are up and arms, and propose California citizens sign the JustifyRates.org petition to force health insurers to get approval from the...
Video
4/9/2012
KABC-TV's Nannette Miranda breaks down the harsh realities of California residents who must face an endless stream of rate hikes for their health care, as well as efforts in the state to force the health insurers to play fairly.

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