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Our wily California Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, is at it again!  He just won't give up on supporting AB-52.  Now that it has made it out of the Assembly, past the clutches of Republicans and a few bad-acting Democrats -- and, not to boast, but you should read that linked diary -- he wants us to get all active again and make six phone calls to the members of the Health Committee of the State Senate.

Do we gotta, Dave?  Can't we just have our health insurance premiums increase 50% per year instead?  This is so unreasonable!  If health insurance execs don't make obscene salaries, how will they be able to create jobs in Asian and Latin American sweatshops?

Oh, all right -- let's see what the guy has to say before we decide whether to call.

Says Commissioner Jones:

As Insurance Commissioner, my office gets calls every day from Californians who cannot afford health insurance premium increases.   In order to rein in skyrocketing health insurance rate increases I am sponsoring Assembly Bill 52 (Feuer and Huffman).  AB 52 would give me the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate increases before they go into effect.

Many insurance companies are raising rates multiple times in the same year, creating a hardship for more and more Californians.  The U.S. Department of Labor reports that medical inflation has been between 3.5% - 4% per year each of the last few years. That makes it difficult to understand why the cumulative rate increases for many policyholders have been 50, 60, 80% or even higher since 2008.  The five largest health insurers in this country made a combined profit of $11.7 billion last year.  That was a 17% increase over the 2009 profit of $9.9 billion and a 51% increase over the $7.8 billion made in 2008.

Insurance Commissioners in many other states have the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes. But I have this authority only when it comes to auto and homeowners' insurance.  It's only right that the Insurance Commissioner have that same authority for something as important to each and every Californian as health insurance.

Many of you contacted Assemblymembers in May or early June asking them to vote for AB 52.  Thanks to you, the bill passed the Assembly despite the intense lobbying efforts by the health insurance industry.  Now, AB 52 moves on to the Senate where it will be heard in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, June 29th.  Please call members of the Senate Health Committee TODAY and ask them to vote for AB 52 when it's up for consideration on June 29th.

The following is a list of the Senate Health Committee members and their Capitol Office telephone numbers:

Senator Ed Hernandez (Chair) -- 916-651-4024
Senator Elaine Alquist --- 916-651-4013
Senator Kevin de Leon -- 916-651-4022
Senator Mark DeSaulnier (AB 52 co-author) -- 916-651-4007
Senator Michael Rubio -- 916-651-4016
Senator Lois Wolk (AB 52 co-author) -- 916-651-4005

Thank you again for taking the time to call and support AB 52.  Your efforts have had an enormous impact on the success of the bill thus far.  

If the Department of Insurance can assist you with an insurance problem or provide you with additional information, please contact our Consumer Hotline at 1-800-927-4357 or visit our website at www.insurance.ca.gov.

Six calls in six days -- sounds like a lot of effort, but I suppose that to prevent obscene and unjustified rises in health insurance premiums, it might be worth it.

OK, you all know the drill: make the calls, report that you've done so -- we call that "peer pressure" for your fellow Kosters! -- and let us know where these six state Senators stand!

Poll

Your age group and reaction to the tip jar?

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| 12 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Something is happening (9+ / 0-)

    and our Insurance Commissioner knows what it is -- don't you, Mr. Jones?

    (OK, take the poll.)

    To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:29:52 AM PDT

    •  Oh Noes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Seneca Doane, Lucy2009

      Not phone calls! What a pain!

      Why don't they go ahead with the single payer legislation that the Orangeman vetoed twice and make the greedy non-delivery of health care a moot and sad thing of the past?

      "The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did... they always will. . ." Governeur Morris

      by Dave925 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:49:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I presume that it's the budget crisis (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dave925

        When the economy rebounds -- if, of course -- I expect just that.

        To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

        by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 11:00:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a shame (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Seneca Doane

          Seeing how it could be easily presented as a cost saving measure but then of course the RW media California has always been saddled with will swing into full tilt boogie outrage mode and scream bloody murder about it.

          Of course they'll do that anyway. . .

          Hmm. . . interesting.

          "The rich will strive to establish their dominion and enslave the rest. They always did... they always will. . ." Governeur Morris

          by Dave925 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 11:57:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It could *correctly* be presented in that way (0+ / 0-)

            but not easily, unfortunately!

            To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

            by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 01:35:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you, Seneca (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, Lucy2009, SoCalSal

    I'll be making those calls!

  •  Can you confirm (0+ / 0-)

    that Sen. Wolk is a co-author? I can't find her listed as one anywhere else, and she voted no last time.

    •  I took that directly from the message (0+ / 0-)

      that Dave Jones sent out.  I don't have a separate source.

      To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

      by Seneca Doane on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 12:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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