One of the most controversial bills in the last five years on health insurance is about to bring “Shock and Awe” to the health care insurance industry and lobbyists in Sacramento. Assemblyman Mike Feuer, (D) 42nd gave the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce a sneak preview of his bill at a breakfast meeting Tuesday (Nov. 2, 2011).
“The measure will state that for the first time in California, state officials will have the power to reject any health insurance rate increases that can not be justified,” Feuer told WLAC members at the Olympic Connection, West LA.
Assemblyman Feuer said it’s a controversial measure, because “The battle lines are very clear.”
The long time lawmaker, former Los Angeles County City Councilman, and lawyer said small businesses up and down California like this bill, and are among his strongest supporters, including Small Business Majority, which is a national nonprofit organization focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses.
“Insurance companies hate the bill,” Assemblyman Feuer explained. “And there are people here in this room, who worked for insurance companies, and I get that, but you need to know some of these facts about health care insurance.”
Feuer noted that healthcare insurance rates are rising slowly at up at three to four percent per year in the country, and that people are using health insurance less now, than they were in the past, so the cost drivers are not there.
“While the national is up only three to four percent, in California the proposed increases are 39, 59, 86 and 94 percent, which are real numbers and they hit you hard,” he said. “Most of you in this room have individual or small group insurance and you are getting creamed by these rate increases.”
Assemblyman Feuer encouraged the West LA Chamber to join other small groups and business organizations around the state to support his bill that restricts health insurance rate increases without justification.
Feuer is not stopping on health insurance rate hike restrictions. Earlier he talked about his passion and drive to reform the California education and pension system, citing his father, who was principle for three decades and now volunteers for schools.
The Assemblyman also said lawmakers are looking at a way to get rid of a big corporate tax loophole that many people would find appalling called “the single sales factor” giving out-of-state multimillion dollar corporations a tax break in California.
For more information about Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s legislation and services his office offers to business and consumer visit: www.asmdc.org/feuer. Email: Assemblymember.Feuer@assembly.ca.gov. Call (310) -285-5490 in LA, (916) 319-2142.