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The San Francisco Chronicle reported this morning on the front page about the landmark insurance reform we expect to be spending the next fifteen months working for.

Insurance companies, the legislature and recent court rulings have all turned against consumers, much like they had in 1988, when California voters struck back with the toughest insurance reform in America: Proposition 103.

By 2014, all of us will be required to buy health insurance or face tax penalties. The problem is that health insurance companies can charge whatever they like and raise premiums at will in California. This is the same scenario that drivers faced in 1988 when mandatory auto insurance laws forced drivers to pay for policies many couldn’t afford. Voters then required auto insurers to pay drivers a 20% refund and to get permission before they ever raised rates again.

Just like in 1988, insurance stalwarts in the statehouse are now holding insurance premium regulation hostage. The companies have given the politicians millions so they can make billions overcharging you. And, as in 1988, the California Supreme Court has issued several rulings taking away the right of policyholders to hold insurance companies accountable.

If we go to the ballot with a 1988-style 20% rollback in health insurance premiums, will you be with us?

Our "Proposition 103 Part Two" ballot measure will have to be filed by November 2011 in order to begin signature collection so it gets on the ballot for November 2012.  

The main provisions of the ballot measure are as follows:

1- A 20% rate rollback in health insurance rates to reverse five years of unwarranted double-digit price gouging;
2- Require health insurance companies to seek permission from the elected insurance commissioner before raising rates, as auto insurance companies must, and application of other Prop 103 protections to health insurance companies;
3- Prohibit all insurance companies from raising your rates or refusing to renew you because of your credit score, claims or insurance history;
4- Allow consumers to join a non-profit public health plan administered by CALPERS instead of having to buy insurance from private insurance companies;  
5- Correct court rulings that have misinterpreted the law to benefit the insurance industry;
6- Create a "three strikes and you're out of California" law for insurance companies that repeatedly violate the state’s consumer protection laws
7- Prohibit health insurance companies from forcing you to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of enrollment.  

We want to go to the ballot in November 2012. Will you be with us? Click here to sign up!

Together we can move health care reform forward in California and America.

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Jamie Court is president of Consumer Watchdog and author of The Progressive's Guide To Raising Hell.