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Lopsided Battle Over Proposition 45

KPBS 89.5 FM San Diego, CA
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2014/sep/08/lopsided-battle-over-prop-45/

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The fight over Proposition 45 is shaping up to be a contest between insurance companies and consumer advocates. And so far, insurance companies have the upper hand.

Proposition 45 opponents, led by the California Association of Health Plans and major health insurers like Anthem Blue Cross, have raised nearly $38 million. Supporters, featuring the non-profit group Consumer Watchdog, have less than $200,000 in the bank.

Proposition 45 would give California’s insurance commissioner the power to reject health insurance rate hikes found to be excessive.

The commissioner already has that authority with homeowners and auto insurance.

Proposition 45 supporters argue the measure plugs a gaping hole in the Affordable Care Act.

Supporters say that law requires people to have health coverage, but it doesn’t ensure rates will be reasonable.

Well-funded Proposition 45 opponents contend the measure would undermine Covered California’s attempts to provide affordable insurance. What's more, they claim the initiative would give one politician, the state insurance commissioner, too much power over the health insurance industry.

A recent Field Poll found the vast majority of voters support the measure.