Health insurance companies doing business in California woke up to good news Wednesday: Voters appeared to be strongly opposed to a ballot initiative that would have permitted the state insurance commissioner to review and veto any proposed rate increases deemed too high.

Proposition 45, a proposal backed by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones that would create a powerful oversight on rate increases, was defeated at the polls. About 60 percent of Californians voted against the measure.

Insurance carriers spent some $50 million fighting the measure, proposed by Consumer Watchdog, a self-styled advocacy organization.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.