Protesters dump manure on Blue Shield’s doorstep

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SAN DIEGO – A giant stink bomb was dropped outside the San Diego offices of Blue Shield Thursday by supporters of Proposition 45, a ballot measure that would require health insurance companies to disclose rate changes publically.

A consumer “watchdog” group dumped a wheelbarrow-full of manure on the front door of Blue Shield office in Mission Valley to represent how insurance companies are treating their consumers.

Supporters said the insurance company has donated $9.5 million to the campaign against Prop. 45.

Carmen Balber held a “Yes on 45” sign at the protest and said healthcare is on the decline and more needs to be done.

“This steer manure is obviously symbolic of the lies, the deception and the crap they give consumers,” said Balber. “They’re paying for coverage and getting nothing in return.”

Rena Marocco has been battling breast cancer and said she was paying $1,500 a month for health insurance. It recently increased another $300.

“In two years, I’ve seen my premiums go up 50 percent,” said Marocco. “Prop 45 will help because it merely has the insurance companies justify their rate hikes.”

Proponents said it would also give the insurance commissioner the authority to deny rate hikes.

Dr. Mark Sornson, a dermatologist and member of the San Diego County Medical Society, opposes Prop. 45.

“We’re concerned granting all of these powers to one politician will stand in the way of our ability to make treatment decisions for our patients,” said Sornson. “Covered California for instance is taking a commission to oversee the same group of patients to make sure they're getting great value.”

The group made a similar delivery to corporate offices of Blue Shield in San Francisco last week where it was also denied.