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CA hires consumer group to help it review healthcare rates

Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2013

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones lashed out Tuesday at another double-digit rate hike for thousands of small businesses getting their health insurance from industry giant Anthem Blue Cross. But this time Jones got some help from a surprising source. He has quietly tapped Consumer Watchdog, his political ally and the state's most outspoken industry critic, to help review health insurance rate increases under a one-year contract worth as much as $88,000. The insurance industry expressed dismay that the state enlisted its longtime nemesis to help review rate increases, and some experts questioned whether it's necessary to further antagonize insurers at a time when state officials are trying to work closely with the industry to implement a massive healthcare expansion.