"I think people are paying attention more now than they ever have," Flanagan says. "We're getting closer to what might be considered a public outcry."
Christopher Ohman -- president and CEO of the California Association of Health Plans, a trade organization representing most of the major insurers in the state -- agrees but says he hears a different kind of outcry.
"I think we're reaching the boiling point with rising costs of health care. People are angry," Ohman says. Insurers "are the ones who are the messenger of those rising costs, and I think we're seeing some shots being taken at the messenger."
Consumer advocates see it somewhat differently.
"Not only is a big part of the rising costs of health care directly related to insurers and insurers' profits, the whole notion that insurers can legally deny coverage to people at the very time when they most need it is ludicrous," says Anthony Wright, director of Health Access California.