Yes on 45: Price-gouged Policyholders & Consumer Advocates Decry Menacing Anti-Prop 45 Mailers Showing Gov’t “Playing Doctor” with Hospital Gowns

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Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog, Consumer Federation of California, the California Nurses Association and price-gouged policyholders condemned menacing health insurance company mailers against Proposition 45 today as a new Hoover Institution Poll puts Proposition 45 ahead by 12 points, 42% to 30% just seven days before the Election.

View the poll:

The health insurance companies spending $57 million to defeat Prop 45's rate relief are using a page from the "Creepy Uncle Sam" advertisements circulated by Koch Brothers groups against Obamacare in mailers sent to women across the state. The cover shows a vulnerable woman from the neck down, wearing only a hospital gown and with her hands folded uncomfortably between bare legs, and threatens that government would play doctor with her treatment: “Health care decisions should be made by doctors, nurses and patients – not dictated by one Sacramento politician.” A grinning man reaches out with huge hands below the menacing warning.

View the mailer:

“Insurance companies are getting desperate because voters are finally tuning in to this election and realizing insurance companies are spending tens of millions of dollars against Prop 45 because the measure stops insurance company overcharges,” said Jamie Court, proponent of Prop 45 and president of Consumer Watchdog. “The public should be warned that these mailers are false advertising paid for by four health insurance companies that won’t be able to keep charging excessive rates if Prop 45 passes.”

The false claim is also made in No On Prop 45 television ads.

The “Creepy Uncle Sam” advertisement sought to scare young women away from signing up for health insurance under the federal reform law during open enrollment. Those ads also featured a woman wearing only a hospital gown as a creepy cartoon Uncle Sam pops out from between her bare legs with the tag line: “Don’t let government play doctor.”

View the video:

Linda Raffel of Los Angeles and an Anthem Blue Cross individual policyholder said, “My premium has more than quadrupled, and co-pays have skyrocketed. I’m getting $196 worth of health insurance for $854 a month. It’s my insurance company and huge costs, not Prop 45, that are standing in between me and the treatment my doctors recommend. Prop 45 will make sure I get the coverage I pay for.”

Proposition 45 will require health insurance companies to open their books and justify premium increases, under penalty of perjury, before they take effect. It does not effect treatment options – it prevents health insurance companies from charging an excessive price for coverage. 35 other states already regulate health insurance rates, but not California. Prop 45 would simply extend California’s existing regulation of auto, home and business insurance that has saved drivers $102 billion since 1988, to health insurance companies.

For more visit:

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

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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