July 30th, 2007
You can thank insurance industry money for forcing this unnecessary public vote:
Secretary of State Sam Reed announced today that Referendum 67 has sufficient valid signatures to qualify for a spot on the statewide ballot in November.
According to elections officials, a check of petition signatures submitted in support of the proposal has shown that the measure meets constitutional requirements for a minimum of 112,440 valid voter signatures. The measure will appear on the November 6 General Election ballot.
Referendum 67 would make it unlawful for insurers to unreasonably deny certain coverage claims, and permit treble damages plus attorney fees for that and other violations. Some health insurance carriers would be exempt. The official ballot summary on Referendum 67 reads, “Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5726 would make it unlawful for insurers to unreasonably deny a claim for coverage or payment of benefits to any “first party claimant”, as defined in the bill, or to violate insurance fair practices regulation.
With court approval, successful claimants would be entitled to actual damages plus costs and reasonable attorney fees, and in some cases up to triple damages. The bill would not apply to health plans offered by health carriers.”
Sponsors of Referendum 67 submitted a total of 156,446 petition signatures to the Secretary of State. Election officials conducted a random sample of 4,783 signatures, of which 4,132 were valid signatures – 651 were determined invalid. Signatures are invalid if the signer is not a registered voter or if he or she signed more than once.
The petition was checked using the “random sample” process authorized by state law. Under the process, a statistically valid percentage of the signatures are selected at random and checked against voter registration records. A mathematical formula is then applied to the results to obtain a projected rate of invalidation.
Election officials examined 4,783 (a 3 percent sample) on Referendum 67. From that inspection, it was determined that the measure had an invalidation rate of 13.6 percent.
Remember to vote YES on Referendum 67 this November. Voting YES keeps the consumer protection law in place!