Opponents of a ballot initiative that would give the state government regulatory authority over health insurance premium rates are spending nearly $38 million on efforts to defeat the measure, the Center for Public Integrity reports (Potter, Center for Public Integrity, 9/2).
The measure will appear on the state's Nov. 4 ballot (Overland, FierceHealthPayer, 9/3).
Background on Initiative
Proposition 45 — which is being promoted by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) and Consumer Watchdog — would give the state regulatory authority to monitor and control health care premium rates, similar to how it controls automobile and property rates (California Healthline, 8/22).
Last month, a Field Poll found that nearly 70% of registered voters in California said they support the measure. Sixteen percent of respondents opposed Prop. 45, and 15% were undecided (California Healthline, 8/20).
Details of Opposition Spending
Opponents of the initiative have donated a total of about 37.9 million to Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs — a "coalition of doctors, nurses, hospitals, health plans and California employers" that is fighting the measure, according to the group's website.
According to CPI, about $37.3 million of the funding was donated by the California Association of Health Plans and five insurers:
- Anthem Blue Cross;
- Blue Shield of California;
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan;
- Health Net; and
The rest of the funding came from the California Association of Health Underwriters, the National Association of Health Underwriters and insurance broker groups (Center for Public Integrity, 9/2).
Details of Campaign
CAHHCC will target its advertising efforts to each political party, according to FierceHealthPayer.
When communicating with conservatives, the group will argue that Prop. 45 could give Jones too much power over the health care industry and negatively affect the free market.
When communicating with liberals, CAHHCC will argue that the initiative could interfere with Affordable Care Act implementation (FierceHealthPayer, 9/3).