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Jun 20, 2005   
WHOSE FAULT IS NO FAULT?
by Carmen Balber - OpEd
It isn't Mitt Romney's fault that the Massachusetts auto insurance system was broken when he took office. But, if he insists on clinging to the no fault system and giving insurers carte blanche to set rates, unhappy drivers will know it's his fault now.... more


Jun 10, 2005   
Everybody Into the Insurance Pool
by Jamie Court
Democrats tend to favor mandating that employers pay for insurance. Republicans typically want to give insurers more latitude to "innovate." Unless a middle ground is found, the ranks of the 7 million uninsured in California will rise.... more


Jun 09, 2005   
Cooking the books?
by Jamie Court
After years of running insurance giant AIG, Maurice Greenberg has tendered his resignation from the board. Greenberg and AIG's former CFO were accused of up fluffing the books. But commentator Jamie Court says, "isn't that just business as usual?"... more


May 15, 2005   
EXTRACTING TOP DOLLAR;
Refineries clean up, by restricting supply
by Jamie Court
The recent jump at the pump is not being caused by a shortage of crude oil, but by too few refineries to process that crude into gasoline. In California - where five refiners control 90 percent of the state's gasoline supply - the artificial shortages...... more


May 04, 2005   
LA Has Chance to Lead Prescription Drug Revolution
by Jamie Court
Jamie Court says the LA City Council should approve a proposal, which he helped formulate, that will allow residents to get lower prices on prescription drugs.... more


Apr 28, 2005   
Junk Fax Solution
by Jamie Court
Coming soon to the Senate floor, the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005. Consumer advocate and commentator Jamie Court says don't let the name fool you.... more


Apr 24, 2005   
Eastie Editors Are Colonizing L.A.
by Jamie Court
In the hard-news arena, for instance, it seems to me that the eastward view of editors has resulted in national and international news displacing local and California stories.... more


Apr 22, 2005   
Free Speech Is Not For Sale
by Jamie Court
Thinking about buying a car this weekend? Commentator Jamie Court, president of FTCR, says you might want to consider one unusual factor: whether the automakers' advertising dollars are being used to make the case for more than your purchase.... more


Mar 24, 2005   
Campaign Finance Reform Hypocrisy
by Jamie Court
Schwarzenegger clearly believes money is power, and that the cash to market himself and his spin will determine what voters remember, not the positions he takes. For campaign finance reformers, however, this Arnold will be remembered just like another fam... more


Mar 14, 2005   
Medical Malpractice Math
by Jamie Court
When a doctor's hospital's or drug company's negligence seriously injures a patient, someone's got to pay the medical bills and living expenses. If it's not the wrongdoer, then it's likely gonna be the America taxpayer through programs like social securi... more


Mar 06, 2005   
The governor's mega-bucks bid for a special election
by Jamie Court
Schwarzenegger may be accustomed to big-budget Hollywood productions, but taxpayers should not have to pick up the tab for an extra election just so the governor can skirt campaign-finance laws and wage a no-limits ballot fight financed largely by industr... more


Feb 14, 2005   
A Special Election For Special Interests
by Jamie Court - Commentator
Call it off, governor. What's the rush? By forcing this special election, all you're doing is further cementing your reputation as the man who's putting California government up for sale.... more


Feb 01, 2005   
President Bush and the choice word...
by Jamie Court
The truth is the new economic freedoms the president will promote come at the expense of political freedoms the nation was founded on -- open courts, representation for taxation, and our collective financial security.... more


Dec 12, 2004   
When the Incentive to Save a Life Dies;
Under state law, it may be cheaper to let children die from malpractice.
by Jamie Court
The medical insurance establishment and President Bush are holding up MICRA as a model for the nation. But what was uncovered at King/Drew should be a warning: No one was watching out for the public because it wasn't in anyone's financial interest to do s... more


Nov 30, 2004   
Arnold Goes to Washington
by Jamie Court
Schwarzenegger marketed himself in California as the anti-politician. He told voters he's so rich and famous he can't be bought. That label stuck, even though the self-professed Collectinator took in $72,000 per day in campaign cash during his first year.... more


Nov 10, 2004   
The Next Four Years -- Consumers
by Jamie Court
In the Next Four years, we'll see Greed Breed. That's the Bush Administration's agenda. And to accomplish it, the top tactic will be to make you terrified of government itself.... more


Oct 21, 2004   
Ballot Battles
by Jamie Court
Prop 64 is funded by $13 million from big businesses like Phillip Morris and Exxon. They don't want accountability for pollution and other public health threats. That's what the American Lung Association, Sierra Club, and California's Attorney General... more


Sep 14, 2004   
Reducing lawsuit abuse
by Jamie Court
You don't hear too much about frivolous corporate litigation. That's because big business pays to publicize other things-like ambulance chasers out to bankrupt America.... more


Aug 31, 2004   
US government's war on prescription drugs
by Anchor: David Brown - Commentator: Jamie Court
The US government is prosecuting a new war on drugs: prescription drugs. The FDA is shutting down storefront pharmacies that import cheap drugs from Canada like they're crack houses.... more


Aug 02, 2004   
To Really Reform Healthcare, Democrats Should Take Their Cue From Garamendi
by Jamie Court
Democrats talked a good game when it came to healthcare reform at their convention in Boston last week. But talk is cheap. They need to follow the lead of one of their own -- California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi -- and play hardball.... more


Jul 23, 2004   
This Democratic National Convention is brought to you by...
by Jamie Court
Lots of folks don't like the way the naming rights game is played - attaching corporate brands to what are commonly thought of as public spaces. But our consumer activist argues at least its more honest than the way the game is played by the political pa... more


Jul 15, 2004   
REDRESS WHEN WRONGED? FORGET ABOUT IT
by Jamie Court and Frank Smith
What right do all government officials have that the taxpayers who pay their salaries don't? After two recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, the answer is the right to sue your health maintenance organization or health insurer for damages.... more


Jul 02, 2004   
Car dealers don't give public a fair deal
by Jamie Court
Car dealers routinely force buyers to sign away their Seventh Amendment right to trial in favor of binding arbitration to settle any dispute. California car dealers raised nearly $5 million for ballot initiative Prop 64 this November that seeks to gut the... more


Jun 16, 2004   
Shouldn't We Be Able To Charge Companies For Our Lost Time?
by Jamie Court
If time is money, why are corporations the only ones who charge for wasting it? When our bills are late, banks, credit card companies and insurers charge us money. But no matter how much of our time it takes to fix their mistakes, we never get paid.... more


Jun 13, 2004   
Sued a Physician, Did You? The Doctor Won't See You Now;
Ethics collapse over malpractice insurance cost.
by Jamie Court
A resolution to be voted on by the AMA's House of Delegates would make it ethical for physicians to refuse to treat plaintiffs' attorneys and their spouses, except in emergency situations and as otherwise required by law.... more


Jun 01, 2004   
How class-action legislation will hurt small business
by JAMIE COURT
Mergers among banks, health insurers and oil companies were supposed to create economies of scale and savings for all. Instead, we've got bigger corporations gouging small businesses without the leverage to negotiate.... more


Jun 01, 2004   
Punitive damages and the budget
by Jamie Court
Gov. Schwarzenegger recently grabbed headlines with a flashy proposal to give 75 percent of punitive damage awards to the state to help balance the budget. As with much of Arnold's previous work, however, the preview is all that is worth seeing.... more


May 12, 2004   
A Litigious Schwarzenegger Wants to Close the Door to Others
by Jamie Court
The real question may be whether Arnold Schwarzenegger values the public's legal rights as much as his own. His stand on the initiative will be the litmus test of whether damage to the environment, public health and society is as important to him... more


May 05, 2004   
Power Play in California
Deregulation déjà vu
by Jamie Court & Douglas Heller
If the new political leadership in Sacramento and the energy industry have their way, Californians will soon see a revival of electricity deregulation. That's right: a return to a volatile market of unregulated electricity transactions that put the state... more


Apr 29, 2004   
Fighting Mad Doctors' Disease
by Anchor: David Brown - Commentary: Jamie Court
Mad doctors disease is out of control. Striking doctors are not targeting insurance companies even though their profits went up a 1000 percent last year. Or threatening the few doctors who commit the majority of malpractice. They're targeting patients.... more


Mar 31, 2004   
Federal Insurance Deregulation? It's no April Fools Joke
by Jamie Court
When any big industry says it's time to reregulate, that means one thing: Let's deregulate. That's the game the insurance industry is playing.... more


Mar 17, 2004   
Rising gas prices look like California's electricity crisis
by Jamie Court
Refiners are cheating, not competing. Instead of competing to create more supply, they work together to restrict supply and profit wildly.... more


Mar 11, 2004   
Gasoline Prices: a Case of Cheating, Not Competing;
Sound familiar? Think back to the electricity crisis.
by Jamie Court & Tim Hamilton
The recent 20-cent-per-gallon increase in California -- compared with just a 5-cent increase nationally -- is the result of cheating rather than competing by seven refiners that control more than 99% of the state's gasoline supply.... more


Feb 25, 2004   
Manhattan elite lining up for pricey Schwarzenegger fund-raiser tonight
by Jamie Court
Schwarzenegger isn't in politics at all; he's in business. And tonight, Schwarzenegger will be selling California to New York.... more


Feb 18, 2004   
Feasting on an Ailing California
by Jamie Court
If the who's who of Wall Street comes out Tuesday night at Arnold's fundraiser at Johnson's, we'll know exactly what our governor is selling: California to New Yorkers.... more


Feb 09, 2004   
Consumer Protection Week Or Weak On Consumer Protection?
by Jamie Court
Imagine the uproar if George W. Bush declared it "Give Peace A Chance Week." Arnold Schwarzenegger's dedication of this week as "California Consumer Protection Week" should be met with similar jeers.... more


Dec 09, 2003   
Who will profit from Medicare reform?
by Jamie Court & Frank Smith
The clear signal from Capitol Hill is that benefiting sellers, not seniors, is what Medicare reform is all about.... more


Nov 23, 2003   
The Governor's Wayward Broom;
'Housecleaning' puts special interests first.
by Jamie Court
In his first week, the governor who was going to oust special interests has managed not only to give them the keys to government, he's created a potential separation-of-powers crisis. At the very least, his Executive Order 2 is going to force government... more


Oct 28, 2003   
Identity Thieves
by Jamie Court
The FTC has acknowledged that the epidemic of identity theft claimed almost 10 million victims last year. But on the same day it released the data, the agency attacked a new California privacy law that would cure the problem by limiting the corporate trad... more


Oct 03, 2003   
Rescind corporations' constitutional rights
by Jamie Court
The impact of the legal redefinition of the corporate form made it a sovereign entity with the power to dominate people and, increasingly, the public institutions that collectively represent individuals. The time has come for Congress to say enough... more


Sep 24, 2003   
Who elected shirkers?
The voting hoi polloi rule the hoity-toidy politicians. Here are some rules to put the Legislature on alert.
by Jamie Court
The true meaning of the recall will depend not on who wins or whether Gov. Gray Davis prevails, but rather on whether new rules will govern the political class starting the day after the election.... more


Sep 17, 2003   
State Must Take All Its Medicine for Flawed Health Plan to Work
by Jamie Court
If California is to become a national model for establishing employer-based health coverage, the Legislature must rein in costs so that employers and employees -- who pay 20% of the cost -- can actually afford the product they\'re being required to buy.... more


Aug 21, 2003   
Davis Still Can Ease Power Rates
by Harvey Rosenfield
It was a shortage of political courage that allowed the energy companies to plunder the state three years ago. Davis now has one last chance to wield the power of his office on behalf of the people or face a political blackout of his own.... more


Jul 25, 2003   
Sink or Swim - How Davis can fight the rising tide
by Harvey Rosenfield
To survive, Davis must stop behaving like a career politician and start acting like a leader. He must offer the voters compelling reasons to keep him on for another two years. Here's what Davis (or else his replacement) must do to win:... more


Jul 04, 2003   
Independence From The Corporation
by Jamie Court, executive director of FTCR
The ultimate definition of America's cultural freedom is the Declaration of Independence. Remarkably, many of the grievances against King George III in the Declaration also can be made against the modern corporation.... more


Jun 02, 2003   
Everything Has a Price, Including Your Private Information
by Jamie Court
Corporations recognize no inherent harm to the individual from this violation of privacy because, absent the relationship to the company, corporations increasingly do not recognize the individual and her societal rights. (Which explains unsolicited telema... more


May 30, 2003   
Don't Kill The Messenger, Just Buy Him Out
Proposed FCC Rule Changes Threaten American Democracy
by Jamie Court
The free press is supposed to serve the public interest in informing. With fewer and fewer broadcasters, however,the newsgathering resources, the information the public receives, and the diversity of voices will shrink.... more


Apr 27, 2003   
A Revolution Looking for a Leader and a Way
by Jamie Court
As a policy, lower costs, higher quality and universal access go hand in hand. The more patients who are insured, the lower the cost for everyone. An insurance pool that covers all risks means each pays less.... more


Mar 18, 2003   
COMMENTARY: Insurance 'Reform'? Consider the Source
Health-care profiteers aim to grow fatter by feeding off a crisis that has invaded the middle class.
by Jamie Court & Jerry Flanagan
Ultimately, if we really want to cover the uninsured, we're going to need a 2004 ballot initiative that gets past the "Kumbaya" spirit of "Cover the Uninsured" week to the question of who is to blame for the problem.... more


Feb 10, 2003   
Commentary: Damage Cap Adds Insult to Injuries;
State law cheats less-affluent victims of medical malpractice.
by Jamie Court
Any law a jury is not told about is hardly just. And taking away the power of juries to dispense justice to medical victims in our state has resulted only in more victimization.... more


Jan 02, 2003   
The Universal Approach: Affordability is basic in health-care reform
This article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on January 2, 2003
by Jerry Flanagan and Frank Smith
The truth is that no healthcare solution will work unless it deals with the public's main concern -- affordability. That means taking a hard look at exorbitant HMO and drug company profits.... more


Dec 27, 2002   
Frist Will Not Help Health Care's Ills
by Jamie Court & Frank Smith
Unfortunately for the public, the doctor running the chamber, Sen. Bill Frist, typifies the GOP's new health-care strategy: care most about the health of corporations that elect you.... more


Dec 24, 2002   
Insurers Flip the 'Crisis' Switch
Like energy companies, they manufacture losses.
by Harvey Rosenfield
Like last year's energy debacle in California, the insurance crisis now afflicting the nation is the product of artificial price and supply manipulation compounded by grossly inadequate regulation.... more


Dec 09, 2002   
Universal Coverage Will Take Universal Sacrifice
by Jamie Court - Executive Director (FTCR)
Universal health-care reform is back in vogue, but it will take sacrifice by every stakeholder in health care to achieve it.... more


Nov 20, 2002   
Patriotism has become the refuge of corporate scoundrels.
by Jamie Court - Executive Director - FTCR
This week Eli Lilly and other large American corporations hijacked the "Homeland Security" legislation to win the right to be free from legal accountability for their dangerous drugs, products and technologies.... more


Nov 12, 2002   
From a Power Crisis to a Crisis of Power;
PUC decisions by Davis appointees are costing the state's taxpayers billions.
by Harvey Rosenfield - President - FTCR
The Public Utilities Commission stole $7.5 billion from California consumers last week. The money will be used to bail out both utility companies and big businesses from their losses during the energy debacle.... more


Aug 29, 2002   
Will an insurance company buy Democrats' souls?
by Jamie Court
The last days of the legislative session are notorious for eleventh-hour backroom deals and greased lightning legislation that can clear every rules hurdle in mere hours.... more


Aug 20, 2002   
Commentary; State must take lead on health care
by Jamie Court & Frank Smith
The recent Capitol Hill burials for a Medicare prescription drug benefit and HMO reform signal that California must take matters into its own hands. Gov. Gray Davis should convene a special session of the Legislature to lead nationally on a crisis of new... more


Aug 02, 2002   
Will Society Allow Baby Boomers' Health Care Savings To Go Bust?
by Jamie Court, Executive Director - FTCR
Children born in the wake of World War II could now be facing the battle of their lives, simply affording their health care.... more


Jul 07, 2002   
Commentary; Let a Public Board Set Health-Care Rates; Manage hospitals like utilities.
by Jamie Court
The only way to ensure access to Los Angeles County\'s emergency rooms and hospitals is by employing the same model that Angelenos use to protect their electricity and water costs and Marylanders use to maintain their hospitals: public utility regulation.... more


Jun 10, 2002   
HMOs Stalk Patients' Rights;
The industry must not be allowed to wiggle its way out of accountability to the ailing.
by Jamie Court
California HMOs are slyly attacking the new patients' rights laws touted by Gov. Gray Davis as the toughest in the nation. The industry can't be allowed to undermine the two pillars of HMO patients' rights it has targeted effective state regulation and... more


May 08, 2002   
Insurance: You Pay, They Bait and Switch
Health-care plans are beginning to feel like scams in California.
by Jamie Court
The revelation that health insurers will be levying surcharges of as much as $400 per day for the best hospitals shows the degree to which insurance is fast becoming a bait-and-switch scam.... more


Apr 18, 2002   
Healthy Profits Don't Equal Good Health
Without state oversight, insurers can raise premiums to cover bad investments.
by Jamie Court
The announcement by the nation's second-largest purchaser of health insurance that it expects to pay an average 25% more in premiums next year should sound an alarm bell in Sacramento that following the money in the health care system is as important as d... more


Mar 05, 2002   
Bailout Update: Federal Appeals Court Appears Likely to Strike Down Edison Bailout
by Harvey Rosenfield - FTCR President
March 5, 2002-- Southern California Edison reaped the benefits of the 1996 deregulation law it sponsored -- more than $10 billion in surcharges from ratepayers -- but when the energy crisis hit, Edison didn\'t want to bear any of the losses.... more


Nov 30, 2001   
Enron Gets Zapped by Its Own Greed
by Doug Heller
When stock of energy giant Enron fell to 36 cents per share this week from a high of $84 this year, the market finally accepted the reality that the company--a middleman whose main business was not producing or delivering power but trading it--was nev... more


Aug 21, 2001   
The Coming Showdown at the Ballot Box
by Harvey Rosenfield
One fundamental rule about Sacramento lawmaking that has not changed it's the power of the special interests. That's why we at FTCR are in the final stages of preparing for the Mother of All Ballot Wars next year.... more


Jul 27, 2001   
The Terms of The Great Debate: Bush vs. Webster's
by Jamie Court
When Ari Fliescher, the White House Press Secretary, said recently, "The President wants to work with Congress on specific terms of the Patients' Bill of Rights," he was not talking simply about making policy but changing vocabulary.... more


Apr 09, 2001   
Who Killed P.G.&E.? And What's Next in the Deregulation Disaster
by Harvey Rosenfield
P.G.&E. wrote the 1996 deregulation law, reaped its financial rewards for three and one half years, and now it and its shareholders are bearing the consequences of deregulation.... more


Apr 03, 2001   
When Commerce Trumps the Constitution…
by Jamie Court
Until recently, the independent judiciary was the last branch of government where the average person could reasonably expect to prevail over the rich and powerful corporation.... more


Mar 13, 2001   
You've Got Power
by FTCR President, Harvey Rosenfield
The Oaks Project fulfills mutual needs: the need of citizens to feel that they can make a difference. And our need to be able to engage the broader public in how our democracy is run.... more


Feb 07, 2001   
Letter to President Bush
Re: The Bushwhacking of America
by Jamie Court
Your actions this week, to undermine a bi-partisan compromise for a patients' bill of rights, contradict your campaign pledges to the American public about HMO reform.... more


Jan 31, 2001   
"Wall Street West" Turns Power Solution Into Market Solution
by Jamie Court
As California's governor and legislators deal with the energy crisis, the statehouse has become "Wall Street West" with an invasion of New York investment bankers playing pivotal roles.... more


Dec 19, 2000   
California's Two Power Crises
by Harvey Rosenfield and Doug Heller
There are two power crises in California today. One is the electricity debacle, the other, a political power crisis.... more


Dec 18, 2000   
Bankruptcy v. Bailout
by Harvey Rosenfield
California's largest utility company, Southern California Edison, has thrown down the gauntlet to Governor Gray Davis: force the ratepayers to bail us out or we'll declare bankruptcy.... more


Nov 03, 2000   
Toward A New Political Brand - Volunteer Qualified
by Jamie Court
If politics is the art of the possible, then the first general election of the millennium is sadly signaling that possibilities in the political process exist only for professionals, not volunteers.... more


Sep 25, 2000   
Toward a Seamless System of Health Care
by Jamie Court
The time has come for an overhaul of the indecipherable patchwork of insurance programs to create a single, seamless and sensible system.... more


Aug 15, 2000   
Power to the People-- At an Affordable Rate
by Ralph Nader
As they munch on smoked duck ravioli and Squid ink tagliolini at a chic Italian eatery tonight (8/14) hosted by the Sempra energy conglomerate, DNC officials might pause between courses to consider the plight of utility ratepayers 120 miles to the south.... more


Jul 18, 2000   
Are Patients Now Corporate Chattel?
by Jamie Court
The sale of "covered lives," as patients are called in the industry, without the sale of a company, a bankruptcy, or a merger turns patients into no more than corporate chattel and threatens to make the continuity of individuals‚ medical care as volatile... more


Jul 02, 2000   
We Need A National Standard For Clean- Burning Fuel Requirements To Eliminate Price Manipulations.
by Jamie Court and Tim Hamilton
The mystery of $2-per-gallon gasoline prices in the Midwest should seem like deja vu all over again to Californians who have suffered similar pump-shock since greener fuel was introduced in 1996.... more


Jun 26, 2000   
Mapping of Human Genome Raises Serious Issues For Individual vs. Corporate Rights
by Jamie Court
Today's announcement of the mapping of the human genome by a private corporation and a public consortium should be met with suspicion as well as hope.... more


Jun 14, 2000   
Limit on Class Action Suits Will Eviscerate Consumer Rights
by Jamie Court
This Thursday, the United States Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to limit the ability of injured consumers to band together to hold any corporation accountable through class action lawsuits.... more


Jun 02, 2000   
Special Foundations Shortchange The Public
by Jamie Court
Among the most unregulated billion-dollar industries in California are the charitable foundations formed in the 1990s, when the state's largest not-for-profit HMOs became for-profit, investor-owned entities.... more


May 15, 2000   
What's The Fairest Battlefield In The Fight For Better Health Care?
Patients Shouldn't Have To Sign Away Their Right To A Trial In Order To Receive Medical Care
by Jamie Court
Recently, the California Supreme Court reaffirmed that people in private arbitrations do not have the same rights as people who go to court. The war between patients and their HMOs could become a lot less contrarian if state legislation mandating the rig... more


May 02, 2000   
Quackenbush Scandal Update
by Harvey Rosenfield and Doug Heller
In recent weeks, a torrent of brazen misconduct by Insurance Commissioner Quackenbush has been uncovered by the news media. Last Thursday, a State Assembly hearing recounted much of this scandal, though Mr. Quackenbush refused to provide the reports, pre... more


Apr 17, 2000   
Insurancegate – How will the Legislature respond?
by Harvey Rosenfield
The corruption scandal now engulfing Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush will soon become a test of the California Legislature's own integrity.... more


Mar 28, 2000   
Insurancegate, Quackenbush and the Law
by Harvey Rosenfield
The revelations that Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush got campaign contributions from insurance companies shortly after absolving them from wrongdoing in their handling of Northridge homeowners' damage claims should come as no surprise.... more


Mar 23, 2000   
HMO Reforms Could Be Foiled In Regulatory Process Without An Effective HMO Czar
by Jamie Court
The little told story of the true balance of power in American politics is that even when big corporations lose legislatively they get another bite at the apple by using their considerable money and might in the regulatory process to foil reforms.... more


Mar 16, 2000   
The High Price of Gasoline Is All About Power
by Jamie Court
The consistently high gasoline prices in the California have been blamed on price "spikes" caused by shortages of fuel due to California refinery outages, crude oil production cuts by the OPEC cartel and California's special clean-burning fuel.... more


Mar 07, 2000   
The TV Told Me to Vote No
by Harvey Rosenfield, FTCR President
So much money is invested by politicians and vested business interests in the electoral process these days that it's becoming impossible to draw any conclusions from the outcome of an election.... more




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