Prop. 45 Supporters Warn Health Plan Rates Could Skyrocket
Proponents of a ballot initiative related to health insurance rate regulation warn that Californians will continue to see insurance rates increase after the measure was defeated in Tuesday's election, the Sacramento Business Journal reports (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/5).
Background on Proposition 45
About 60% of Californians voted against Proposition 45.
The measure would have given the state insurance commissioner the authority to reject health insurance rate increases.
The defeat of Prop. 45 came after its opponents -- including insurers, such as Kaiser Permanente and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association -- raised millions of dollars for a campaign against the measure (California Healthline, 11/5). Opponents raised about $57 million to defeat the measure, while supporters raised less than $4 million, the Los Angeles Times reports (Terhune/Lifsher, Los Angeles Times, 11/5).
Comments From Proponents
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) said, "I am disappointed, with the defeat of Proposition 45, that I will not have the authority that 35 other states have to protect Californians from excessive insurance rate increases." He added that the defeat is "a major setback for California consumers and small businesses."
Jamie Court -- president of Consumer Watchdog, which put the measure on the ballot -- said, "Insurance price gouging is going to continue without Proposition 45's protection" (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/5).
Future of Rate Regulation
Prop. 45's supporters said they would continue to push for insurance rate regulation through the courts, the California Legislature and possibly another ballot initiative.
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, said, "We expect the rate regulation debate to return to the Legislature, possibly with more momentum." He added, "We will continue to advocate the simple point that patients shouldn't have to pay premiums deemed unreasonable by regulators" (Los Angeles Times, 11/5).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.