Doctors, Healthcare Providers Denounce Proposed Health Insurance Rate Regulation Initiative As Bogus And Flawed
SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Doctors, physician groups, hospitals, health care providers and business groups today responded as Consumer Watchdog submitted signatures to qualify a self-serving health insurance rate regulation ballot measure for the November 2012 ballot. This ill-conceived regulatory scheme has already failed four times in the State Legislative in the last four years – because it is bad for patients.
Addressing rising health care costs is important but this flawed measure isn’t real reform. Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs is opposing the initiative because it:
- Gives one politician, beholden to special interest campaign contributions, too much power over health insurance;
- Creates an expensive and duplicative state bureaucracy that will be paid for with higher health insurance premiums;
- Does nothing to address the underlying costs driving health care premiums, and
- Ultimately lines the pockets of the proponents who created a new loophole allowing them to file more frivolous lawsuits and collect millions in fees.
“We all agree that controlling health care costs is critical, but this flawed measure will do nothing to address the underlying costs driving health care premiums and will ultimately limit patients’ access to care,” said Don Crane, President and CEO, California Association of Physician Groups. “We need to take the politics out of health care decisions.”
“This measure will create another duplicative and expensive bureaucracy when we can least afford it, ultimately paid for with higher health insurance premiums.” said Allan Zaremberg, President, California Chamber of Commerce.
“Voters should find out what’s behind this deceptive initiative,” said C. Duane Dauner, President/CEO of the California Hospital Association. “This initiative will not reduce health care costs, but it will give Consumer Watchdog and trial attorneys millions of dollars in intervenor fees.”
“Doctors oppose this deeply deceptive measure because it will make it harder for patients to access the medical care they need,” said Paul R. Phinney, M.D., President-Elect of CMA. “At a time when our state is facing deep cuts to health care, we cannot afford a duplicative, costly new state bureaucracy that will create serious barriers to the delivery of health care for Californians.”
The vast majority of contributions made to the initiative campaign come from Consumer Watchdog itself, who has made it a practice not to disclose their donors, or trial lawyers. Additionally, contributions from trial lawyers to this special interest initiative total nearly half a million dollars so far. This initiative would create a new funding stream for Consumer Watchdog and its band of trial lawyers to pocket millions of dollars–at patients’ expense–because they wrote the initiative to include lucrative financial rewards to lawyers for filing unnecessary legal challenges.
In 2011, doctors, hospitals, physician groups, employers and more than 100 groups opposed a nearly identical legislative proposal to the proposed initiative because it would increase the cost of health insurance and have devastating impacts on patients’ access to quality care. Now, Consumer Watchdog, a trial lawyer funded special interest group, is making a last ditch effort to use the initiative process to open up health insurance to the same scheme that has allowed Consumer Watchdog and trial lawyers to make millions of dollars off of auto and homeowners insurance.
Early opponents of the proposed initiative include the California Medical Association, California Hospital Association, California Association of Physician Groups, California Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Action Committee, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, California Association of Health Plans, Hospital Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties, Hospital Association of Southern California, Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, Civil Justice Association of California, Southwest California Legislative Council, Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce, Imperial County Medical Society, Santa Clara County Medical Association, Redwood City-San Mateo County Chamber of Commerce, the Association of California Life and Health Insurance Companies and more.
For more information, visit www.StopHigherCosts.com.
SOURCE Californians Against Higher Health Care Costs