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Fresno Bee Endorses Yes On Prop 45, Says: Ballot Initiative Will Rein In Health Insurance Premiums, Says Consumer Watchdog Campaign

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Fresno Bee has endorsed Proposition 45 saying it will rein in health insurance rates and noting "powerful forces are opposed" to the ballot initiative.

"These forces — you know them as Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Kaiser, HealthNet and United Healthcare — don't want voters to approve Prop. 45 on the Nov. 4 ballot because it would force them to justify premium increases and bring transparency to the process," the editorial said.

Read the Fresno Bee's editorial here:

The editorial noted as of Sept 30. Prop 45 opponents had "$11.5 million in their kitty to air more of the deceptive ads filling the airwaves of late" and predicted they would spend $50 million by Election Day.

"Why do these insurance giants fear Prop 45? The fact is, California is among a handful of states not making health care insurers justify their rates," the Fresno Bee said. "The way things work in the Golden State, the insurance commissioner reviews rates and can comment on them, but lacks the power to lower premium increases."

The editorial countered claims from Prop 45 opponents that the measure puts too much power in the hands of a single individual. "Voters entrusted the insurance commissioner to reject auto insurance rate increases by passing Proposition 103 in 1987 and that decision put the brakes on runaway premiums," the editorial said.

The Bee warned readers: "Don't believe the nonsense from the health insurers, specifically that line in the television commercial about the 'new independent commission.' There is no such thing."

"Proposition 45 is worthy of a 'yes vote," the editorial concluded. "But if you want to put more of your hard-earned dollars into the pockets of insurance company CEOs, by all means vote 'no.' They might be having trouble making the mortgage on their second yacht — or third vacation home.

Proposition 45 would require health insurance companies to publicly justify their rates and allow the state insurance commissioner to reject rate hikes deemed excessive. The same rules for auto insurance in California have saved drivers $102 billion since 1988. 

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is the co-chair of the Prop 45 campaign, which is backed by Consumer Watchdog, the California Nurses Association, and a broad coalition of consumer, labor, low-income, senior and healthcare organizations and providers. 

Other newspapers that have endorsed Prop 45 include: Chico Enterprise-Record, Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, San Diego CityBeat, San Diego Free Press, San Francisco Bay Guardian, San Jose Mercury News and Santa Clarita Valley Signal.

For more about Proposition 45 visit:

Paid for by Consumer Watchdog Campaign – Yes on 45, a coalition of consumer advocates, attorneys, policyholders, and nurses. 777 S. Figueroa St., Ste. 4050, Los Angeles, CA  90017.  Major Funding by Consumer Watchdog/Consumer Watchdog Campaign and California Nurses Association Initiative Political Action Committee.

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog Campaign

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