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Doctors, Hospitals, Clinics, Health Care Providers and Labor Organizations Oppose Prop 45

Academics and Health Care Experts Say the Initiative Will Create Lengthy Delays and Unintended Consequences for Covered California

Sacramento –Dozens of groups representing doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, as well as labor unions from across the state have announced strong opposition to Proposition 45, a November health insurance initiative that would regulate health care benefits and rates, giving sweeping new powers to one elected politician. The growing coalition opposed to Prop 45 includes nearly 200 groups statewide:

Academics and health care experts have raised serious concerns about Prop 45 creating lengthy delays and barriers to care, largely due to the Initiative allowing outside groups and individuals to file lengthy legal challenges against Covered California plans.

Covered California also released a report containing a series of serious questions about the impact that Prop 45 would have on its ability to provide affordable coverage to millions of Californians.  The initiative was drafted in 2011, and failed to qualify for the 2012 ballot, long before Covered California was finalized.

“Anything that delays open enrollment, technological or rate review, will create chaos for consumers,” saidJulianne Broyles, Legislative Advocate, California Association of Health Underwriters.

Some of the doctor and hospital groups opposing the initiative include: the California Medical Association, California Children’s Hospital Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, California, CAPG – the Accountable Voice of Physician Groups, the California Association of Rural Health Clinic and the Latino Physicians of California, just to mention a few.

“If we are going to make major changes to our health care system, patients, doctors, hospitals and health plans should all be a part of the solution. Instead, this is a self-serving ballot measure placed on the ballot by special interests to benefit themselves,” said Amy Nguyen Howell, M.D., Chief Medical Officer for CAPG. “The devil is always in the details, and it’s clear that this measure has a lot of unintended consequences that hurt patients.”

In recent weeks, the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry added their names to a growing list of labor unions opposed to the initiative.

Health care experts and academics, including Jon M. Kingsdale, Ph.D., the nation’s foremost exchange expert and founder of the country’s inaugural health benefit exchange in Massachusetts, have outlined the damaging impact Prop 45 would have on the state’s health exchange.

“This Initiative will disrupt the most comprehensive health reform undertaken since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid, almost a half-century ago,” said Dr. Kingsdale. “The ballot measure creates multiple, conflicting review processes and lengthy delays that undermine Covered California’s ability to negotiate lower health insurance rates and coverage on behalf of California consumers.”

“Additionally, the Initiative will cause a number of unique, unintended consequences that will create barriers to coverage, confuse consumers and even increase out-of-pocket costs for low- and moderate California families enrolled in Covered California.”

Other academics echoed these concerns:

“This proposed initiative has the potential to damage consumers by adding to the costliness of the process, adding to the complexity and uncertainty of the process, and by opening it up to intervenors who would almost surely, in my view, have interests and incentives opposed to the best interests of consumers. Some might be die hard opponents to the ACA who could use the processes to delay approvals and disrupt the process of annual review and open enrollment,” said Alain Enthoven, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus at Stanford University Center for Health Policy/Center for Primary Care and Outcomes Research.

For a complete list of groups opposing Prop 45, or for more information about the initiative, please visit: