Senator Gaines Sues Covered California To Stop Cancellations

Sacramento, CA…Senator Ted Gaines today announced a lawsuit against Covered California and Executive Director Peter Lee, seeking to stop any future health insurance policy cancellations by the health care Exchange. In addition, the suit seeks to hold Covered California accountable for hundreds of millions in expenditures that have failed to increase the number of insured Californians.

“More than 900,000 Californians have had their health insurance plans cancelled by Obamacare and Covered California. Close to 10 million more could lose their coverage soon. This lawsuit stands with consumers and puts a stop to this unchecked government abuse,” said Gaines.

Michael McCelland, the attorney working on the case, echoed the Senator’s criticisms and spoke with confidence about Gaines’ lawsuit, “Senator Gaines intends to win this case. Covered California’s actions have been wildly in excess of its authority and inconsistent with federal policy. California law clearly directs the courts to enjoin agencies which overstep their bounds. We expect to prevail, decisively so.”

To date, Covered California has unnecessarily eliminated the individual health insurance of more than 900,000 Californians, forcing them to scramble to find replacement plans that were often extraordinarily expensive and full of provisions that consumers did not necessarily need but had to purchase. Millions and millions of consumers with employer-provided insurance face the same cancellations in the upcoming years.

Facing a $78 million budget deficit in 2015/16, Covered California has also spent millions of dollars in a failed attempt to attract more enrollees, including the widely mocked Richard Simmons infomercial. Senator Gaines has requested detailed financial reports and enrollment information from the Exchange, and was met with an unsatisfactory response. This petition continues the Senator’s efforts to protect California taxpayers.

Senator Gaines is taking the lead on protecting consumers and invites California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to step up and join him in this effort.

“I’m not going to sit back and see Covered California sock it to ten million consumers and every single taxpayer in the state,” said Gaines. “Californians deserve better.”

A copy of the petition can be viewed here.