OAKLAND, Calif., July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- This weekend at their Executive Board meeting, the California Democratic Party voted by unanimous consent to endorse Proposition 45 (the Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act). Proposition 45 requires health insurers to justify and get approval for health insurance rate increases before they go into effect.
This endorsement of Proposition 45 by the California Democratic Party follows months of organizing work by Democratic Party grassroots activists around the state. 51 Democratic County Central Committees and more than 1,200 Democratic Party delegates had endorsed the measure prior to this weekend's Board meeting, as had elected officials including U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
"The strong Democratic Party endorsement of Proposition 45 came as a result of grassroots Democratic activists from throughout the state who will let voters know that they finally have the opportunity to vote to stop excessive health insurance rate increases. Proposition 45 requires health insurers to justify their rates and it provides the authority to prevent excessive rate increases. Democratic Party activists helped gather the signatures to qualify Proposition 45 for the ballot and will be instrumental in working to pass this measure in November despite the tens of millions the insurers will spend against it," commented Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.
Proposition 45 requires health insurers and health plans to submit rate filings for individual and small group health insurance to the Department of Insurance for review and approval. Health insurers must publicly justify their rates. Under Proposition 45, excessive rates will not be approved.
"We need to change the law to protect Californians from excessive health insurance rate hikes" said Senator Dianne Feinstein in her message to California Democratic Party delegates.
Health insurance rates for families in California have increased 185% since 2002. Even after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, prices have continued to increase significantly. More than 35 other states have implemented health insurance rate regulation and California already has rate regulation authority for property and casualty insurance such as auto, homeowners' and even medical malpractice insurance. Proposition 45 will add health insurance to the insurance product lines for which the Insurance Commissioner has the authority to prevent excessive rate increases.
With Democrats facing low turnout in November, Proposition 45 will motivate voters sick and tired of health insurance rate increases to go vote, which will help Democratic candidates in tough races
A "small employer" is currently defined in California as an employer with 2-50 employees. Beginning January 1, 2016, the definition will change to include employers with 2-100 employees.
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog Campaign