In June of 2014, a primary election will take place here in California. This primary will not be like the previous contests due to the fact of a new election law in this state. The new law will pit the two candidates who received the most votes in the primary election for each office against each other, even if they are from the same party.
In the battle for the Insurance Commissioner’s Office here in California, it appears that the current holder of the Commissioner’s Office, Dave Jones, will be running without opposition on the Democratic Party ticket, and the Republican candidate, State Senator Ted Gaines, will also be running without opposition.
This situation is a sad state of affairs, the only other interesting element in this campaign is the presence of Ms. Nathalie Hrizi from the Peace and Freedom Party.
In case the Republican Party did not understand the situation, the office of Insurance Commissioner is extremely important in the setting of insurance rates for Auto, Home and Commercial Insurance. If the current Insurance Commissioner has his way, the Commissioner will also be able to approve or disapprove of the proposed rates for Health Insurance. If the California Legislature grants the Commissioner the power to accept or reject the health insurance premium rate increase proposals, the Commissioner will evolve from being an Insurance Commissioner to a true Insurance Czar.
With so much at stake involving this particular state office, more input from the Candidates was necessary. In order to do as much as possible to change this situation, I will be directing a series of questions, on line, to each of the candidates. I will advise the candidates their answers will be printed verbatim as received, even if it takes more than one article to present the answers.
The questions are:
1.) Do you accept the Affordable Care Act aka (Obamacare), in its current form? If yes why? If no, how would you change it?
2.) Do you believe the Office of the Insurance Commissioner should be endowed with the right of accepting or refusing proposed insurance rate hikes? If yes, why? If no, why not?
3.) Have you ever accepted a campaign contribution from an Insurance Company?
4.) Do you believe the California Department of Insurance should continue the practice of selling tax breaks to Insurance Companies and other financial institutions through the services of the California Organized Investment Network (COIN)? If yes, why? If no, why not?
5.) Do you believe it is acceptable for religious employers to pay for health insurance for their employees which include abortion as a birth control method such the morning after pill?
6.) With Insurance Fraud in excess of $80 billion in this nation in 2013, do you believe a new course of co-operation between law enforcement and the Insurance Industry is required in California to stop this trend? If you do, what type of action do you propose? If not, why do you believe a change is not required?