Proposed Initiative Targets Health Insurance Premiums
A consumer advocate is preparing a ballot initiative that would regulate health insurance rates, an effort that "legislators don't have the stomach for" despite increasing insurer profit and growing public dissatisfaction with the current health care system, Steve Lopez writes in his "Points West" column in the Los Angeles Times.
Jerry Flanagan of the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights is drafting an initiative that, according to Lopez, would:
- Cut health insurance rates by 20% and regulate future rate increases;
- Require insurers to sell policies to all applicants, regardless of pre-existing medical conditions; and
- Give California residents access to a public insurance pool as a way to move the state toward universal health coverage and push insurers to reduce rates.
Flanagan hopes to begin collecting signatures for the proposed initiative in late summer or fall in hopes of qualifying it for a statewide election in 2008, Lopez writes (Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 8/1). 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.