Accord­ing to Con­sumer Watch­dog, the major insur­ance car­ri­ers and the asso­ci­a­tion that rep­re­sents them (Cal­i­for­nia Asso­ci­a­tion of Health Plans) have col­lec­tive­ly giv­en $25 mil­lion of pol­i­cy­hold­er mon­ey to a cam­paign against the upcom­ing bal­lot ini­tia­tive to lim­it the amount car­ri­ers may raise their rates. The “Jus­ti­fy Rates” bal­lot mea­sure requires car­ri­ers to get per­mis­sion from the state before rais­ing rates like auto and home insur­ance companies

Actu­al­ly, and inter­est­ing­ly, it’s not the rate increas­es so much, but the fact that car­ri­ers con­tin­ue to raise their rates while they have exces­sive reserves. Con­sumer Watch­dog cit­ed Blue Shield, a non prof­it which has $3.68 bil­lion in reserves now, which is 1,667% more than required. Then again there is all the adver­tis­ing, such as Kaiser’s “Thrive” cam­paign at a cost of $40–50 mil­lion per year. Also not­ed are “exces­sive” exec­u­tive pay (a com­mon com­plaint) and the fines that car­ri­ers have paid due to inap­pro­pri­ate claims actions – and we all get to pay.