What Victory Sounds Like

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Thank you to everyone who made a call and helped block this sneak vote pushed by health insurance companies and their salespeople to boost industry profits and broker salaries.

The insurance industry and its allies have made numerous attempts to force a vote on their plan to gut a key consumer protection rule at a meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Every time a wave of public outrage and attention, and opposition from the state insurance regulators who still remember their job is to protect insurance consumers, stopped commissioners from falling off the brink.

The reports back make it clear that your calls had an impact this time too.

Some people were thanked by commissioners who helped block the industry vote.

The measure’s top sponsor – Kevin McCarty of Florida – tried to deny responsibility altogether.

And about three hours after the calls began I started hearing from people who couldn’t get through. Do you think it's likely that that the mysterious difficulties with the voicemail system were a fluke?

It appears that most insurance commissioners don't want the public to know they're protecting health insurance industry profits at the expense of higher premiums for consumers.

Here are some of your reports:

"I was able to reach him (Ted Nickel) personally and he assured me that he would be watching out for the consumer. Let's hope."

"I spoke to Kevin McCarty, Florida's current Insurance Commissioner. He claimed to not have the slightest idea what I was talking about when I asked if a discussion of the "medical spending rule" would be taking place at the conference this weekend. Hmmm, apparently one of us is misinformed."

"Keep up the good work…..keep us informed.  Congrats!!"

"Got hold of my WA commissioner. Very nice man. He's steadfastly against it and had heard a rumor that the vote is being postponed (ie: the corporate powers do not have their votes)."

"I've called Elanor Kitzman of Texas she keeps hanging up."

"I left a message for the PA Insurance Commissioner. Since a Public option was killed in Obamacare which would have created REAL competition, it is essential to include Sales commissions within the MLR to help control Health Insurance premiums. We all need to help get Health Care costs under control."

"I asked for Andrew Stolfi, the IL commissioner.  The resort connected me to a system that asked for an extension number which, of course, I did not have.  So, I could not leave the message.  How's THAT for a firewall?!"

"I tried to leave a message of the Ohio state ins. commissioner Mary Taylor and the hotel told me she cancelled her reservation.  I did leave a message on her office voice mail. Thanks for trying to keep me informed."

Carmen Balber
Carmen Balber
Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber has been with the organization for nearly two decades. She spent four years directing the group’s Washington, D.C. office where she advocated for key health insurance market reforms that were ultimately enacted into law as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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