Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Backs Julio Perez for Assembly

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones kicks off wheelbarrow race at OCLF Labor Day Celebration, Photo: Chris Prevatt

Labor activist and AD-69 candidate Julio Perez continues to rack of quality endorsements in his race for Assembly.  The following release came in from the Julio Perez for Assembly campaign.

Saying he has the courage and intelligence to stand up to the special interests, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones today announced his backing of Julio Perez for the California State Assembly.

“Julio has the courage and intelligence to stand up to the special interests. He ‘s the kind of leader we need in Sacramento to keep the Legislature focused on creating jobs and protecting consumers,” said Jones, who was named “Consumer Champion” by the California Consumer Federation in 2008 for his work in the Assembly. “I’m looking forward to working with Julio to help get on our state back on track.”

Jones leads the California Department of Insurance, the largest consumer protection agency in the state. As Insurance Commissioner, Jones regulates California’s insurance industry, which makes up almost one-tenth of the California economy with annual revenues of $125 billion. Jones served in the State Assembly from 2004 through 2010, where he chaired the Assembly Health Committee, the Assembly Judiciary Committee and the Budget Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.

“I am proud to have Dave Jones’ endorsement in this race,” said Perez. “His work in the State Assembly is a great example of how effective one Legislator can be in protecting consumers and working families.”

Julio has won the backing of several elected officials, including State Board of Equalization Member Betty Yee, (ret.) State Senator Joe Dunn, Anaheim City Councilmember Lorri Galloway and Santa Ana City Councilmember Sal Tinajero.

Julio also has earned an unprecedented amount of support from organizations representing teachers and education leaders, public safety and working families, including support from the California Teachers Association and the Orange County Labor Federation. In recent electoral history, the early backing of both teachers and labor has been crucial to the victory of Democratic Legislative and Congressional candidates in Central Orange County.

Julio is running in the June Primary to represent the newly redrawn 69th Assembly District, which now has the largest amount of Latinos of all districts statewide – 78.3%. The 69th District includes a large part of the City of Santa Ana along with portions of Anaheim, Garden Grove and Orange.

For a complete list of the statewide and locally elected officials, educators, labor groups, community leaders, public safety organizations, grassroots activists and individuals that are backing Julio Perez for State Assembly, visit www.JulioForAssembly.com.

Julio Perez

Julio Perez

We note that Dave Jones is a chief proponent of Assemblyman Mike Feuer’s AB 52, which would empower the State Insurance Commissioner to reject unjustified health insurance rate increases. From a San Francisco Chronicle editorial on AB 52:

California’s generally strong insurance laws come with a glaring exception. Health plan rates, which have rocketed upward in the past decade, can’t be blocked by the state’s elected commissioner.

It’s a gap that insurance companies want to keep. Previous efforts to regulate health care premiums have died either in the Legislature or on the governor’s desk, victims of intense lobbying by insurers who don’t want to justify startling rate jumps to public officials.

Until now, the process has been a haphazard mess. Insurance firms notify Sacramento of premium increases. Commissioner Dave Jones can ask for information and drag out the process, but in the end he doesn’t have the power to change the new rates. The dice are loaded in favor the insurers.

Under AB52 , the firms would need to supply costs and details to justify increases. These companies like to complain that costs for medical equipment, drugs and care are beyond their control and can’t be controlled by state regulation. If that’s the case, put the issue before the state insurance commissioner for open examination.

This is significant because our sources tell us that County Clerk-Recorder Tom Daly and City Council member Michele Martinez have sought support for their campaigns from the insurance industry which opposes the new regulatory power proposed by AB52. While the legislation is currently inactive in the Senate, it is likely to be reintroduced next year as new legislation if it doesn’t move forward this session.

  3 comments for “Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Backs Julio Perez for Assembly

  1. February 27, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Also signals that, for those of us who want healthcare reform that reins in the abusive insurance industry, Julio will be a huge improvement over the current officeholder Jose Solorio, who has helped kill every bill big insurance doesn’t like.

    While Michele or Tom (both endorsed by Jose) would just be more of the same.

  2. Greg Diamond
    February 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

    I accept that more Solorio-style insurance industry bootlicking would true of Daly, but I’m still disappointed if that’s true of Martinez. While I support Julio, I still really want to think better of her. Pravdroza has been touting Martinez’s Republican support recently; if he’s right, opposition to insurance reform would likely be a price of it. I wonder if she’ll speak out before the primary to set that concern to rest?

    • February 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      I actually spoke to her about AB52 and she sounds exactly like Jose with her talking points against it. I know whereof I speak.

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