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News Release
9/1/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber
Washington, D.C. – New federal health reform rules take effect today that require health insurance companies to publicly justify the reasons for any rate increase of 10% or more. The hope is that insurers who must explain their rates publicly will be shamed into ending unreasonable rate increases. Betting affordable health coverage on a...
Blog Post
8/25/2011
By Jamie Court
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...
Blog Post
8/25/2011
By Judy Dugan
California's insurance companies have their costly lobbyists in high gear, trying to gut or kill real controls over what insurance companies can charge, Kansas' governor won't accept federal grants to plan, much less enact, key federal reforms. Texas' governor thinks Medicaid and Medicare are wrong and may not even be...
Blog Post
8/23/2011
By Judy Dugan
The body that is enacting the biggest market change in the federal health reform--the building of a Health Insurance Exchange where individuals and small businesses will band together to buy coverage--spent much of its meeting Tuesday talking about its proposed guiding principles, mission statement, and vision statement. Despite the vague, high...
Blog Post
8/23/2011
By Judy Dugan
Industry-friendly appointees of former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger continue to hold undue power at the California Health Benefits Exchange--the key body that is already deciding how Californians will get their health care under full federal reform in 2014. The Schwarzenegger appointees are Kim Belshe (former head of the Dept. of Managed Health...
Blog Post
8/17/2011
By Judy Dugan
No one who watched the development of the federal health reform law ever doubted that companies would find ways to make money from it. So far it's been mostly expensive seminars to tell health insurance managers how to comply with the law--and maybe evade it a little. But a new twist showed up today, and it's an "aha!" moment...
Blog Post
8/11/2011
By Judy Dugan
Maine Gov. Paul LePage was elected last year in a three-way race with just 38% of the vote, which he interprets as his ticket to roll back consumer, worker and child protections. He ordered a historical mural of workers removed from the state Labor Department,  refused invitations by the NAACP, saying they "can kiss my butt" and...
News Release
8/2/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber
Washington, DC – In a U.S. Senate Health committee hearing today examining the rapid pace of health insurance premium increases, a federal regulator told senators that the rate review provisions of the federal health care law are a powerful consumer protection tool, but that the authority to reject unjustified rates provides consumers...
Blog Post
7/26/2011
By Carmen Balber
Why would Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu endorse an attack on the health reform law that could cost her own constituents millions in lost rebates and health insurance premium hikes? One of the very few provisions of the law with the potential to reduce the price of health insurance for consumers is the requirement that insurance companies...
News Release
7/22/2011
CONTACT Douglas Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Starting next month, GEICO will begin implementing a 10.7% overall rate decrease for its California automobile insurance policyholders.  GEICO originally asked the California Department of Insurance (CDI) for a 4% increase to its automobile insurance rates, but the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog challenged the hike....