HomenewsreleaseAffordable Care Act › San Jose Mercury-News, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune Endorse Yes On Prop 45, Say: Ballot Initiative Would Bring Prop 103 Savings To Health Insurance

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San Jose Mercury-News, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune Endorse Yes On Prop 45, Say: Ballot Initiative Would Bring Prop 103 Savings To Health Insurance

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John M. Simpson & Carmen Balber

SANTA MONICA, CA – Three Northern California newspapers have endorsed Proposition 45, comparing it to California’s landmark insurance reform initiative Proposition 103 that has saved drivers tens of billions of dollars over the last 25 years and ensured some of the lowest auto insurance rates in the nation. 

“Proposition 45 gives voters the opportunity to accomplish the same goal for health insurance, as 35 other states already do. Voters should approve it,” wrote the San Jose Mercury-News, the Contra Costa Times and the Oakland Tribune.

Read the Editorial: http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_26434287

Proposition 45 would require health insurance companies to publicly justify their rates and allow the state insurance commissioner to reject rate hikes deemed excessive. The same rules for auto insurance in California have saved drivers $102 billion since 1988.  Currently state insurance regulators can review rate hikes, but cannot reject them if they are found to be unreasonable. U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is the co-chair of the Prop 45 campaign, which is backed by Consumer Watchdog, the California Nurses Association, and a broad coalition of consumer, labor, low-income, senior and healthcare organizations and providers. 

“It's always instructive to see who's backing and opposing propositions. Health insurance companies expect to spend more than $50 million to defeat Prop. 45,” the newspapers said. “Their lobbying thwarted three tries in the Legislature to pass rate regulation.”

The newspapers put to rest arguments by opponents of rate regulation that the initiative is incompatible with the Affordable Care Act or will cause delays for Covered California, the state's health exchange.

“The Affordable Care Act anticipates that states will have rate regulation. In several states, including Connecticut, New York, Maryland and Oregon, the rules are similar to Prop. 45. They provide compelling evidence that this regulation discourages insurance companies from seeking the kinds of outrageous increases California has seen,” the newspapers said. “Allowing public intervenors to challenge rates provides greater transparency to the process and allows the insurance commissioner to get feedback from a wide range of voices.”

The editorial concluded:  “Prop. 103 in California and health insurance regulations in two thirds of other states show Proposition 45 will work. Voters should approve it.”

For more about Proposition 45 visit: www.yeson45.org

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Paid for by Consumer Watchdog Campaign – Yes on 45, a coalition of consumer advocates, attorneys, policyholders, and nurses. 777 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA  90017.  Major Funding by Consumer Watchdog/Consumer Watchdog Campaign and California Nurses Association Initiative Political Action Committee.