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SANTA MONICA, CA – Dolores Huerta, the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Presidential Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights, and an icon of the labor and civil rights movements has endorsed Proposition 45, the health insurance rate regulation initiative which will appear on the November 2014 California ballot. Huerta signed the argument in support of Proposition 45 that will appear in the voter ballot pamphlet that was made public by the California Secretary of State today.

“The high cost of health care is one of the biggest challenges for working families. Insurance companies cannot be trusted to keep their rates affordable on their own. Working families need the protection of public oversight and accountability. It's time to pass ‘Justify Rates,’” said Dolores Huerta.

“For the first time in recent memory Californians have a positive ballot to look forward to, without a single initiative measure sponsored by large corporations to confuse and deceive the public. Voters will have a reason to turn out and vote yes this November for measures that will protect their health and their pocketbooks like Prop 45 and Prop 46,” said Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog Campaign.

Huerta joins the growing coalition supporting Proposition 45, including the other signers of the ballot arguments released today: Deborah Burger, President, California Nurses Association, Dr. Paul Song, Co-Chair of Campaign for a Healthy California, Henry L. “Hank” Lacayo, State President of the Congress of California Seniors and Jamie Court, President of Consumer Watchdog and proponent of Prop 45. The California Democratic Party announced its endorsement of Proposition 45 last weekend.

View the ballot arguments on the Secretary of State’s Website: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/vig-public-display/110414-general-election/

Five insurance companies – Blue Cross and parent company Wellpoint, Kaiser, Blue Shield, Health Net and United Healthcare – have given more than $25 million in campaign contributions to oppose Prop 45 and protect their ability to charge as much as they want without accountability, transparency or disclosure.

More than 1 million California policyholders faced over $250,000,000 in rate hikes that were deemed “unreasonable” by regulators who had no power to stop the hikes.  Prop 45 will stop the price gouging by requiring health insurance companies to be transparent, publicly justify rates, and get approval before premiums can increase.

Consumer Watchdog said new transparency and the leverage given to regulators would produce even bigger premium reductions than the $250 million in hikes already deemed unreasonable.

Proposition 45 will:

Require health insurance companies to publicly disclose and justify, under penalty of perjury, proposed rate changes before they take effect.
Require public hearings on proposed rate increases.
Give Californians the right to challenge excessive and unfair premium rate increases.
Give the insurance commissioner authority to reject unjustified rate increases.
For more information 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 Campaign and Thomas Steyer. Your contributions are not tax-deductible.