PATT MORRISON SCHEDULE
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
1:06 – 1:39 OPEN
1:41:30 – 1:58:30
The public option is not dead: but will Californians vote for it?
Jamie Court, executive director of Consumer Watchdog, plans to put an initiative to add a health care public option on ’s 2012 ballot. He writes, “By 2014, all of us will be required to buy health insurance or face tax penalties. The problem is that health insurance companies can charge whatever they like and raise premiums at will in California . This is the same scenario that drivers faced in 1988 when mandatory auto insurance laws forced drivers to pay for policies many couldn’t afford. Voters then required auto insurers to pay drivers a 20% refund and to get permission before they ever raised rates again. Just like in 1988, insurance stalwarts in the statehouse are now holding insurance premium regulation hostage. The companies have given the politicians millions so they can make billions overcharging you. And, as in 1988, the California Supreme Court has issued several rulings taking away the right of policyholders to hold insurance companies accountable.” California
Just as it did in 1988 against auto insurance companies, Consumer Watchdog faces a tough fight against health insurance companies with its effort to pass an initiative for a public health care option in
Jamie Court, executive director, Consumer Watchdog, Santa Monica-based consumer advocacy group responsible for Proposition 103, which established regulatory and cost oversight of state auto insurance rates; author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell
Micah Weinberg, senior policy advisor, Bay Area Council
2:06 – 2:30
When available skills don’t match the jobs demand: unemployment conundrum
Jonathan Rothwell, senior research analyst in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution; co-author of the study
2:30 – 2:58:30
Vet sticker shock: how much is too much to pay for your four-legged friend?
Have you ever taken your pet to the vet for what you expect will be a simple procedure only to be hit with an astronomical bill on your way out? The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates that pet owners can expect to shell out between $9,400 and $14,000 over their pet’s 15-year life span for health care. But a recent survey indicates that most Americans are reluctant to pay more than $500 for veterinary care and as the bill creeps closer to $1000, owners draw the line. You love your pet, but what do you do when the cost of caring for it exceeds the amount in your bank account? Consumer Reports suggests being proactive—if you think your vet charges too much, shop around and don’t rely on your vet for medication, you may be able to find less expensive options other places. They’ve also analyzed whether pet insurance is cost effective and recommend scaling back on the doggy treats—obesity in dogs and cats can lead to a range of health related issues like arthritis and diabetes.
Jeff Blyskal, senior editor, Consumer Reports
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)