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Blog Post
5/24/2011
By Judy Dugan
Can you hear Blue Cross screaming in the distance? Vermont is about to hit the road toward a real (if modified) single-payer health care--Medicare, but for everyone. Cut out the middlemen, save some money, cover more people. In Washington, insurance companies are deploying their lobbying might to chip apart the gargantuan federal health reform...
Blog Post
2/28/2011
By Jamie Court
At the National Governors Association, President Obama just threw his weight behind a bi-partisan effort in the US Senate to allow states to innovate with health reform, including adopting a public insurance system or single payer health care system by 2013 instead of 2017. The governors embraced the state innovations waiver proposal, since...
News Release
2/1/2011
CONTACT Doug Heller + Jamie Court
San Francisco, CA – Just as Blue Shield policyholders, nurses and consumer advocates arrived at Blue Shield's San Francisco headquarters today, the company announced it would delay its massive rate hikes by 60 days. Previously, the company had refused Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones' request for a delay, even as several other...
News Release
1/20/2011
CONTACT Jamie Court + Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on Blue Shield Thursday to disclose its CEO's salary and justify how it can hold 12 times the surplus required by the state while raising Californians' rates by 59%. Blue Shield is the only major health insurer in California that conceals its top executives' salaries from the...
News Release
11/22/2010
CONTACT Judy Dugan & Carmen Balber
Washington, DC — Federal rules issued today on how much health insurers must spend on health care vs. administration and profit are nearly unchanged from the proposals sent to the Department of Health and Human Services by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. HHS deserves credit for resisting a lobbyist onslaught demanding...
News Release
11/10/2010
CONTACT Carmen Balber or Judy Dugan
Washington, DC — Consumer Watchdog today warned the White House that the insurance industry is still intent on demolishing modest consumer protections in the health reform law, and outlined the most damaging industry demands in a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter, noting that the chief industry lobbying group is hiring...
News Release
10/21/2010
CONTACT Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043; or Jamie Court, 310-392-0522, ext 327
Watchdogs Call For Rate Freeze by President Until Pricing Rules Take Effect   WASHINGTON, DC -- State insurance commissioners sent rules to the Department of Health and Human Services today that will require insurers to spend more money on health care and less on administration and profits. Regulators should be applauded for rejecting last...
News Release
10/20/2010
CONTACT Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043 or Jamie Court, 310-392-0522, ext 327
State Insurance Commissioners to Vote Thursday, Send Recommendations to HHS Washington, DC – As the insurance industry lobbies state insurance commissioners in Orlando to weaken modest regulations on health insurance premiums, Consumer Watchdog’s leaders reiterated their call for President Obama to place a moratorium on premium...
Blog Post
10/19/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
CW's friend Wendell Potter, a flat-out expert on how health insurance companies behave and how their lobby infiltrates government, has a report from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners meeting in Orlando, Fla. Most interesting numbers: there are 28 consumer advocates, and more than a thousand health insurance and allied...
Blog Post
10/11/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
The passage of a law means nothing to the lobbying industry. It only means refocusing on regulators, and if that fails, changing the law that was passed. Lobbyists for health insurance brokers are in the middle stage: demanding that the White House protect their big sales commissions--up to 20s on each policy-- by crippling a key part of the law....