SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A key Senate committee has approved a bill to give state regulators the power to reject proposed health insurance rate increases, but it faces a stiff fight on the Senate floor.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the bill Thursday on a party-line vote, with Democrats in support and Republicans opposed.

Even if passed by the Legislature, the bill’s fate with Gov. Jerry Brown is uncertain. His administration has warned about high costs that could be incurred through hearings and appeals.

The bill has drawn national attention because California’s insurance market is so large.

Its author, Democratic Assemblyman Mike Feuer of Los Angeles, said the power to reject excessive insurance rates is vital to protect families. Groups representing insurers, doctors and hospitals oppose his bill.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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