Nurses And Consumer Advocates Rally Against Kaiserâ€™s $21.7 Billion In Excess Reserve
Condemn Care Cuts, Premium Hikes; Endorse Rate Regulation Initiative
Kaiser Permanente nurses, joined by consumer advocates, will hold a press conference Tuesday, May 6 to expose that Kaiser Permanente has held $21.7 billion more than the state required amount in reserve (1626% more than required) and to protest contributions Kaiser has made to an initiative to rein in excessive premium hikes.
All those funds, say Kaiser RNs, are diverted from the bedside at a time when Kaiser has been cutting patient care services. At the event, CNA will also announce its support for a November 2014 ballot measure to regulate health insurance rates. Under the measure, insurers can not raise premiums if they have excessive reserves, and can be ordered to lower them if rates are too high because they are stashing money away unnecessarily in reserve. Kaiser has contributed more than $7.1 million against the health insurance rate review ballot measure.
When: Tuesday, May 6
11:30 a.m., Press Conference
12:00 noon, March To and Rally At Kaiser
Where: California Nurses Association Headquarters
2000 Franklin Street Oakland
Media Call-In Number: 800-573-2133, access code: 2732252
Who: Kaiser RNs, CNA leaders, Consumer Watchdog
The November ballot measure, of which Consumer Watchdog is the prime sponsor, will regulate health insurance rates, as auto insurance rates already are in California. Under the measure, excess reserves cannot be passed on to consumers. Kaiser has contributed more than $7.1 million against the health insurance rate review ballot measure.
Nurses will then march to a lunchtime rally in Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland plaza carrying banners and signs in protest of the HMO’s high premiums, care cuts and excess reserves.
Kaiser Oakland RN Katy Roemer noted that in January Kaiser raised premium rates for individual policyholders by as much as 22 percent and for small business policyholders by as much as 56 percent, "all while cutting patient services. It's time to curb such excessive price hikes. Kaiser nurses are appalled that Kaiser is diverting patient care dollars to defeat an initiative that would bring some accountability to pricing practices for Kaiser and other California health plans."