Californians Facing May 1 Health Insurance Rate Hikes Join Consumer Advocates Sponsoring Ballot Initiative To Fight Back Against

Final Weeks of Signature Gathering for Initiative To Stop Unjust Rate Hikes for "May Million"

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by Consumer Watchdog Campaign:

WHEN:  Friday, April 27  10:30 a.m.

VISUAL: Giant blank check from one million Californians for hundreds of millions of dollars to three health insurance companies hiking rates on May 1

WHERE:  Consumer Watchdog Campaign Office
1750 Ocean Park Blvd, Suite 200, Santa Monica

WHO: Jessica Blacher, an Anthem Blue Cross policyholder who was forced to switch to a catastrophic plan after four rate hikes in two years 
Jamie Court, proponent of Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act

WHAT: Anthem Blue Cross patients facing big health insurance rate hikes on May 1st --- among 1 million Californians who will see rates go up by hundreds of millions of dollars that day --- will join with consumer advocates authoring a ballot measure to force health insurance companies to get permission before raising rates. The patients will discuss their plight as part of the "May Million" and sign the ballot measure.

This week Anthem Blue Cross parent company CEO Angela Braly told shareholders the initiative was not necessary because federal law protected patients enough.  Anthem is raising rates by more than $100 million on 600,000 Californians on May 1.

The ballot campaign has gathered more than 500,000 of the 795,000 signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot, with just three weeks of signature-gathering remaining. Consumer Watchdog president and ballot measure author Jamie Court will display a giant blank check that the public gives to the health insurance companies each month. Thirty-five other states give the insurance commissioner the power to reject excessive rate hikes, but not California.

Consumer Watchdog Campaign, and supporters including Senator Dianne Feinstein, Courage Campaign, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, and Consumer Federation of California, have emailed millions of voters across the state, asking them to download, print, sign and return the petition at

Consumer Watchdog Campaign is chaired by insurance reform Proposition 103 author Harvey Rosenfield. Consumer Watchdog Campaign is the campaign affiliate of Consumer Watchdog, which was founded by Rosenfield and whose president, Jamie Court, an award-winning consumer advocate and author, is the proponent of the proposed ballot initiative.

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog Campaign