Carmen Balber

Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber has been with the organization for nearly two decades. She spent four years directing the group’s Washington, D.C. office where she advocated for key health insurance market reforms that were ultimately enacted into law as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Balber is recognized as a leading expert on a wide range of personal insurance issues and has authored or co-authored numerous reports on the auto, health and medical malpractice insurance industries, and insurance rate regulation. She leads Consumer Watchdog’s advocacy to improve patient safety in California, including passage of first-in-the-nation legislation requiring doctors to disclose when they are on probation for sexual misconduct to patients, and legislation requiring doctors to check a patient’s prescription history before prescribing opioids and other drugs. In 2012, she managed the coalition effort to defeat Prop 33, a $17 million insurance industry initiative that would have raised rates on good drivers. Her commentaries have appeared in publications across the country, from the Boston Globe, to the Houston Chronicle, to the Los Angeles Times.

As an organizer with Consumer Watchdog, Balber ran campaigns to pass volunteer-qualified ballot measures enacting the nation’s strongest municipal conflict of interest protections in five cities across California. She also coordinated citizen organizing efforts in Consumer Watchdog’s successful volunteer lobbying effort to block a legislative utility bailout in Sacramento in 2001.

Before joining Consumer Watchdog, Balber learned the ropes at the Colorado and Washington PIRGs. She holds a B.A. in Politics from Pomona College in Claremont, California and is a graduate of the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West (now UWC-USA) in Montezuma, New Mexico, one of 17 secondary schools across the globe dedicated to making education a force for peace, sustainability and change by bringing together youth from a diversity of countries and cultures to live and learn.

Carmen Balber

Medical Board Reform Bill That Will Expand Patients’ Voice in Doctor Disciplinary Process Heads to Governor Newsom

Sacramento, CA – Patients will have a greater voice in investigations into harm caused by a doctor under legislation California lawmakers sent to the governor...

Insurance Industry Fails to Win Backroom Bailout in CA Legislature

Consumer Watchdog Calls for Open Debate and Disclosure of Secret Proposals As Insurer Focus Shifts to Insurance Commissioner Lara Sacramento, CA -- The insurance industry’s attempt...

Consumer and Environmental Groups Locked Out of Secret Wildfire Insurance Deal Oppose 11th Hour Insurance Industry Bailout

Sacramento, CA --  Fourteen consumer, environmental, economic justice organizations and consumer advocate Ralph Nader said that public interest groups have been intentionally excluded from backroom...

KFMB-SD (CBS) – San Diego, CA: Dental Visit Leads To Hospital Stay

Carmen Balber talks about how misdiagnosis or missed diagnosis is one of the leading causes of medical errors in this country.

California Should Build A Public Model to Predict Wildfire Risk, Protect Homeowners from Insurance Price-Gouging, Consumer Watchdog Tells Insurance Commissioner

Secret Black Box Climate Models are Prohibited by Proposition 103 Los Angeles, CA – At a Department of Insurance hearing today, the non-profit organization Consumer Watchdog...

Bill To Strengthen Medical Board Oversight of Doctors Passes Final Assembly Policy Committee

Sacramento, CA – Legislation to improve oversight of dangerous doctors and give consumers rights at the Medical Board of California was approved by the California...

CNBC – Last Call: Home Insurance Crisis

Homeowners who clear brush and harden their homes against fire are 75% less likely to have their homes burnt down and in order to save our communities and insurance companies money, we need to mitigate risks.

KOVR-SAC (CBS) – Sacramento, CA: Physician Under Fire For Sexual Battery

Carmen Balber explains how Californians don't have a right to know about their doctor's investigations, which is shocking for the patient and devastating to safety.


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