By Kevin Akin
Posted on March 19, 2012 by the State Central Committee
A ballot measure that would require prior approval for increases in health insurance premiums is sponsored by the Consumer Watchdog Campaign. The text of the proposal is available here. The State Executive Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party has endorsed this initiative.
The Peace and Freedom Party strongly supports a healthcare system that provides good healthcare to everyone in our state and country, along the lines of socialized medical systems found in most industrialized countries. We oppose private corporations profiteering from health care, and controlling our healthcare system. But in today's circumstances, with the profiteers in the driver's seat, we need interim measures that widen healthcare coverage and reduce the economic damage to working families. Such an initiative has been prepared by Harvey Rosenfield and the "Consumer Watchdog Campaign," and the Peace and Freedom Party endorses this initiative and urges California voters to sign the initiative petitions.
This initiative, given the number 11-0070 by state officials, is titled "Approval of Healthcare Insurance Rate Increases" by the Attorney General. This is a little misleading, as it would not approve the increases, but would hold up any increases until the state Insurance Commissioner acts, after testimony under oath from the insurance company officials explaining why they think they should be granted an increase, and testimony from opponents of the increases. This proposed law, while it does nothing to institute the kind of healthcare system we need, is needed as a self-defense measure to protect the population from the worst of the rapacious greed of the insurance companies. Another good feature of this proposed law prohibits any health, auto or homeowners' insurance rate being jacked up for those who were previously uninsured or cannot show a good credit history. All costs of enforcement would be paid by fees levied on insurance companies. All in all, adopting this law would save the population tens of billions of dollars that they would otherwise have to pay under the present law.
Kevin Akin is a member of the State Executive Committee of the Peace and Freedom Party and chair of the Riverside County Central Committee.