Letter to the Editor: California insurance regulation

Washington Times
Wednesday, December 22, 2004

I must respectfully disagree with Robert Redding Jr.’s article, "California tort model receives mixed reviews" (Metropolitan, Dec. 10).
The reason that California's insurance rates have risen at a slower rate than elsewhere in the country is not the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which is a cruel restriction on compensation for the most severely injured victims of medical malpractice.
The reason is that California has the strongest insurance regulation in the country — Proposition 103, enacted by voter initiative in 1988. As a result of Prop 103, which requires public hearings whenever an insurer files a rate hike greater than 15 percent, rates have been knocked way down in that state, saving California doctors millions of dollars.
It has been repeatedly proven that damage caps are not an effective tool for controlling premiums. California is the only state that has such comprehensive insurance regulation, and it is this type of insurance reform that should be the model for Maryland and the rest of the country.
Laurie Beacham
Communications Director
Center for Justice and Democracy
New York


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