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Five Dangerous Myths About California's Medical Malpractice Restrictions

Myth #1: Legal Restrictions on Victims Lowered California Doctors' Malpractice Premiums.

Facts: Californians enacted the strongest insurance rate regulation in the nation in 1988 through insurance reform Proposition 103 (Prop 103), a ballot initiative passed by the voters and authored by Consumer Watchdog founder Harvey Rosenfield. This law resulted in a rate freeze, a rate rollback, and stringent regulation that reduced premiums in all lines of insurance -- including medical malpractice.

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Legal Victories

  • Saving Californians over $1.7 billion on their auto, home and earthquake insurance premiums by challenging excessive rate increases at the California Department of Insurance.
  • Forcing two insurance companies that illegally overcharged consumers to pay back over $23 million in refunds to motorists.
  • Winning reimbursement from Blue Cross after it illegally rescinded a policyholder's coverage after he got sick.

vs. Retail Scams

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." That's how many consumers feel when they deal with the billing mistakes, overcharges, computers and other electronic devices that don't work as advertised and crummy customer service that characterize the modern American marketplace.

Giving up, unfortunately, is what most consumers do when confronted with problems that seem too minor to spend hours trying to fix. But guess what? The unscrupulous businesses that engage in such practices are counting on that.

vs. Cell Hell

Have you been ripped off by a cell phone company? You're not alone. A 2007 study by the Better Business Bureau concluded that cell phone companies were the subject of more complaints than any other business – more than the number of complaints about used car dealers and collection agencies combined.

vs. Health Insurers

Reform of our health care system is one of Consumer Watchdog’s top priorities. Under the present system, operated by private companies driven largely by Wall Street financial values, HMOs and insurance companies have a financial incentive to limit or deny care, reject claims and institute procedures that jeopardize patient safety and undermine quality of care.

vs. Insurers

In 1988, California voters approved Proposition 103, the nation’s toughest insurance regulation law. A core mission of Consumer Watchdog is to ensure the full implementation of Proposition 103, and to defend its reforms against the almost ceaseless attacks that have been mounted against it by the insurance industry in the Legislature as well as in the judicial branch.

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California's Proposition 103

Prop 103: Resources

In 1988, Californians revolted against excessive auto, homeowner and business insurance premiums and passed Proposition 103, a ballot measure written by Consumer Watchdog founder Harvey Rosenfield to rein in insurance companies. Prop 103 ordered insurers to roll back rates by 20%, required an ongoing 20% discount for good drivers, imposed stringent regulation of the  industry, and stripped away special laws that allowed insurers to cheat their policyholders.

In The Courts - vs. Retail Scams

"I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." That's how many consumers feel when they deal with the billing mistakes, overcharges, computers and other electronic devices that don't work as advertised and crummy customer service that characterize the modern American marketplace.

Giving up, unfortunately, is what most consumers do when confronted with problems that seem too minor to spend hours trying to fix. But guess what? The unscrupulous businesses that engage in such practices are counting on that.

In The Courts - vs. Health Insurers

About vs. Health Insurers:

Reform of our health care system is one of Consumer Watchdog’s top priorities. Under the present system, operated by private companies driven largely by Wall Street financial values, HMOs and insurance companies have a financial incentive to limit or deny care, reject claims and institute procedures that jeopardize patient safety and undermine quality of care.

In The Courts - vs. Insurers

In 1988, California voters approved Proposition 103, the nation’s toughest insurance regulation law. A core mission of Consumer Watchdog is to ensure the full implementation of Proposition 103, and to defend its reforms against the almost ceaseless attacks that have been mounted against it by the insurance industry in the Legislature as well as in the judicial branch.

Our Team

Harvey Rosenfield, Founder

As Consumer Watchdog's founder, Harvey Rosenfield is one of the nation's foremost consumer advocates. Trained as a public interest lawyer, Rosenfield authored Proposition 103 and organized the campaign that led to its passage by California voters in 1988 despite over $80 million spent in opposition (still a record).

In The Courts

Consumer Watchdog's attorneys advocate for consumers' rights and seek to hold corporations and government officials accountable in the courts and before regulatory agencies. Through legal and regulatory actions, Consumer Watchdog has changed corporate behavior and returned billions of dollars to millions of Americans.

If you want to let us know about a company that is ripping you off, file a consumer complaint.

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Consumer Watchdog is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing an effective voice for taxpayers and consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. We deploy an in-house team of public interest lawyers, policy experts, strategists, and grassroots activists to expose, confront, and change corporate and political injustice every day, saving Americans billions of dollars and improving countless lives.

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Get Involved

Every day of the year, Consumer Watchdog’s advocates, attorneys and organizers are fighting to hold corporations and politicians accountable. Our power to make change depends on the involvement of real people. Here's how you can help.
 

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