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I'm not even going to try to improve on what California's excellent Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has to say.  Click this link, download, print, mail, circulate.  Do it now.

You need more?  OK, Dave Jones's explanation is beyond the gnocchi.

Sick and tired of rising health insurance and HMO rates?

Now you can do something about it.

Join me in supporting a ballot measure to rein in excessive health insurance rate hikes. We need your signature to get this ballot measure on the November ballot.

Click here to download and sign the petition.

Health insurers and HMOs are making record profits. Rates have gone up 153% on average since 2002. In May, four health insurers will raise rates yet again -- up to 20% for four million Californians. Just yesterday a couple called my office to complain that their rates will have gone up 65% since the fall of 2010, when their 20% rate increase takes effect on May 1st.

And I have no authority to stop it. None.

Unlike 35 other states, in California there is no authority to reject excessive health insurance and HMO rate increases. As rates have skyrocketed in California over the past few years, two million Californians have lost their coverage.

Health insurers and HMOs have used their influence to block state legislation I sponsored over the last six years to close this loophole, including most recently blocking Assembly Bill 52. Now the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has proposed this ballot measure to give the voters a chance to decide.

The ballot measure will require health insurers and HMOs to publicly justify their rates, and get permission before rate hikes take effect. It needs your signature to reach the November ballot.

Help us put this critical measure on the ballot, what some have called the "missing piece of federal health care reform." This is action we can take now, as we continue to work towards single payer universal health care.

Join me, Senator Dianne Feinstein, and over 500,000 of your fellow Californians who have already signed on to demand that health insurance companies justify their rates.

There are just three weeks to go, and we need another 295,000 signatures to be sure we reach the ballot in November. Can you help us finish the job?

Please click here to download and sign the petition and add your name to the list of Californians demanding health insurance rate reform.

Thank you,

Dave Jones
Insurance Commissioner

Do we care about this or not?  I think we do.  When you sign, note it below.  If you're from out of state, let us know how much you wish you could sign it.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Three weeks left to go (19+ / 0-)

    A quarter-million signatures left to go.

    Sign it.  Let others know about it.  Promote it.  Act now.

    Democrats must
    Earn the trust
    Of the 99% --
    That's our intent!

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky OCcupy!

    by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 03:05:07 PM PDT

  •  What we need is statewide single payer. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    Anything and everything else is using a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.

    These greedy private health insurers deserve the worst of everything in life, all the time, at every second.

    This isn't about insuring a TV or something, this is about people living or dying.

    Oh well. Better a Band-Aid than nothing, I guess. It'll stop bleed out time by 0.0000001 seconds.

    You can't force me to get excited about this weak-ass measure though.

    I'll sign it.

    I guess.

    Le sigh.

  •  Signed and mailed... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oceanview, Seneca Doane, G2geek

    ...your two bottom links are broken by the way. :)

    California*, Conneticut, Iowa, Maryland*, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington*. (and District of Columbia) *pending

    by cooper888 on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 03:16:39 PM PDT

  •  where are we supposed to mail it to? n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 03:17:36 PM PDT

  •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane

       Tipped and Rec'd.

  •  What of an initiative to lower healthcare costs? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    The major reason for the rise in health insurance is the rapid rise in spending on healthcare products and services.

    What of an initiative that

    1. Makes it illegal to price drugs and devices greater than 105% of what is charged on average to the top 5 European markets.

    2. Require lifestyle discounts for insurance companies.  Require health insurance discounts if a person has weight in normal range, does not smoke, does not abuse alcohol and other drugs.  Instead of paying a drug company $x per month to reduce the impact of being overweight, compensate the patient $x/4 per month for having a healthy weight.  We need to stop ignoring the fact that we, ourselves can control some important factors the drive our need for healthcare.

    3. license highly specialized nurses and technicians (that pass demanding tests and apprentiships) to perform a wider range of services, including mammograms, colonoscopies, monitoring blood pressure, blood sugar, etc under supervision of a doctor.

    4. Limit the profitability of labs to 12% on invested capital.

    5. Discounts for patients who have "advance directives" (also known as living wills) that allow life extending treatment to be withheld in hopeless instances, but with first rate hospice care.  Think of this as having a discount of $50 per month in return for not demanding that you be kept alive in a coma at a cost of $200,000 for two weeks before your die.  If you don't like the idea of this type of discount, don't choose it for yourself, but don't prevent those who want that choice from having that choice.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 03:55:22 PM PDT

    •  Another diary, perhaps (0+ / 0-)

      I'm on task in this one.

      Democrats must
      Earn the trust
      Of the 99% --
      That's our intent!

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky OCcupy!

      by Seneca Doane on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:54:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Now this is an idea I'd sign -- even from Oregon (0+ / 0-)

      I also like the Japanese health care system, where the government cracks down on provider costs, and all providers and insurers are nonprofit.

      And guess what--it costs half as much, covers everybody, and they live longer than anyone else in the world.

      Sometimes . . . I feel . . . like a redneck with chopsticks . . . Dreaming of squirrel while I'm sucking down squid . . .

      by Pale Jenova on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 06:55:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  better yet replace "sin taxes" with "health risk.. (0+ / 0-)

      ... taxes."

      Taxes on various products and services would be calculated objectively based on the 1/N split of the cost of relevant health care.  

      This would be "pay as you go", as direct as it gets.  

      Alcohol and tobacco taxes would offset the cost of the risks associated with these products.  But taxes would also accrue on other products and services associated with health risks.  For example sporting goods sales would pay for the cost of sports injuries (footballs >> concussions, etc.), and taxes on food products would reflect obvious hazards such as excessive salt and sugar.  

      This would also help reduce the amount of puritanism in the culture, by doing away with the puritanical thrill of "moral superiority" that begins with looking down on people who do "whatever-it-is" unapproved activity, and ends up with measures such as Prop 8.  

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 07:55:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Finally I can say "I'm all in with this" today! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane


  •  Thanks. I'm on it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Thu Apr 26, 2012 at 02:17:01 AM PDT

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