The Buzz: Insurance Regulation Allies Praise One Measure, Push For Another

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By now, it’s no surprise when California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issues a press release, and the one that came Tuesday commemorated the 25th anniversary of the passage of Proposition 103 in 1988, when Jones was still in law school.

That was the measure that, among other things, made the insurance commissioner’s job elective, rather than one appointed by the governor.

Jones’ tribute also included what has become a staple of recent utterances: A bit of subtle campaigning for another measure, set for the November 2014 ballot, that would give him the power to regulate health insurance. “Californians,” he assured, “are surprised to learn that the insurance commissioner in California, unlike 35 other states, does not have the authority to reject excessive health insurance rate hikes.”

The author of Proposition 103, Harvey Rosenfield, issued a message Tuesday praising his measure as “a big deal” that has saved auto ratepayers $100 billion. As the for the 2014 initiative, which his group, Consumer Watchdog, is advocating, Rosenfield was direct: “We Californians have been through this before, and with your help we’ll revolt again next year.”

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