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Health insurance rate regulation initiative not on state ballot

June 28, 2012|By Marc Lifsher
  • Jamie Court, right, in 2006 with then Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez at the state Capitol.
Jamie Court, right, in 2006 with then Speaker of the Assembly Fabian Nunez… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

SACRAMENTO – A proposed voter initiative to require greater regulation of health insurance premiums in California has failed to qualify for the November ballot, according to the measure’s author.

Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said he was told Thursday by the secretary of state’s office that a spot-check signature tally by county registrars of voters fell just short of the 110% or 555,236 needed to go before voters in the upcoming presidential election.

Instead, the initiative is likely to appear on the November 2014 ballot, if it collects the requisite 504,760 validated voters’ signatures.

The secretary of state's office said it would not report on the initiative’s status until the last of California’s 58 counties had reported by a July 13 deadline.

"We’re disappointed that voters won’t be able to make a choice in November," Court said.

He predicted that Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court  decision upholding President Obama’s Affordable Care Act health insurance law would make voters more likely to approve rate regulation in California in 2014.

The initiative would give the state insurance commissioner the power to approve or deny proposed health insurance providers’ rates. The initiative is based on a 1988 automobile-insurance rate regulation law.

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