Healthcare

One Chance for CA Regulators to End Outrageous Aetna Premium Hikes

California health plan regulators have a rare opportunity to protect consumers from excessive and unjustified premium hikes by one of the worst offenders in the state. But will they use that power? 
 

Alarming Study Should Push CA Lawmakers to Get Serious About Rate Regulation

Since 2012, health insurance companies have imposed more than $300 million in rate hikes deemed by the California regulators to be excessive and unjustified. In addition to these actual higher premiums, shrinking physician networks, fewer benefits, increasing out-of-network charges and soaring deductibles have become the hidden premium hike for health insurance that an increasing number of consumers simply can't afford. 
 

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

A few hearings next week might spark some interest. Assembly Health will be taking up Assemblyman David Chiu's timely AB 463, the Pharmaceutical Cost Transparency Act, which would require drug companies to reveal operational costs in order to better understand pricing for ultra-high-priced drugs.

California Laws You Should Know That Start Jan. 1, 2016

In 2015, Californians wanted bold, progressive action on gas prices, toxics regulation and ratepayer protection against back room dealings with regulated utilities. But instead, the public too often saw meaningful reform watered down or dumped.

Proposals such as reducing the state's petroleum use by 50% by 2030, protecting groundwater from fracking waste, demanding transparency from oil companies manipulating the price and supply of oil, and shutting down polluting facilities operating for decades without permits failed to be approved.

Capitol Watchdog: Upcoming Meetings to Watch

The best time to have a hearing on another health insurance merger in California is when few in the media are around to prepare for it. So, obviously, California plans another health insurance merger hearing on the Monday after New Year's. Let's hope it is more informative than the last one, though we have our doubts. But the holiday season is also, in political terms, the calm before the legislative storm. The Legislature begins its next session on Jan. 4. 

Big Pharma Fattening Coffers to Stop Drug Price Reduction Initiative

Big Pharma fears only one thing: a government regulator who will push back on drug prices and protect consumers. Its fears could be realized in a year if an initiative intended to lower drug prices is approved by voters, which is why the drug companies have already filled a campaign war chest with nearly $40 million.
 

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