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Medical Malpractice Insurance Reform Resource Page

Insurance Industry Reform, Not Liability Limits, Lowered and Stabilized Insurance Rates in California

President Bush, the insurance industry and the doctors' lobby want to limit the rights of injured patients who are victims of medical negligence, and they point to a 1975 California law as the model.

This online resource explains exactly what happened in California, including evidence that malpractice caps failed to lower insurance premiums, while insurance regulation, passed by California voters in 1988, succeeded. Review the Sacramento Bee chart that illustrates the differing impacts of malpractice caps and insurance regulation on doctors' premiums. Click on the links below to read FTCR's recent news releases, reports, Congressional testimony and to view the original documents that prove insurance regulation, not malpractice caps, lowered premiums for California doctors.

Read the stories of medical malpractice victims.

  RECENT PRESS RELEASES


  REPORTS AND TESTIMONY
How Insurance Reform Lowered Doctor's Medical Malpractice Rates In California...And How Malpractice Caps Failed (Updated March 7, 2003)
This report analyzes and compares the impact of legal restrictions versus insurance regulation on medical malpractice premiums.

"Assessing the Need to Enact Medical Liability Reform" - Congressional Testimony of Harvey Rosenfield (February 27, 2003) Harvey Rosenfield provided testimony on medical malpractice insurance twice before Congress in 2003. This is testimony provided to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health.

Insurance Regualtion vs. Malpractice Caps Congressional Testimony of Harvey Rosenfield (February 10, 2003)
Harvey Rosenfield's testimony concerning the impact of liability caps compared with insurance regulation on medical malpractice insurance rates before the the House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, in Langhorne, PA. As an appendix to this testimony, Rosenfield submitted How to Address the Insurance and Malpractice Crises Facing the Nation. Additional appendices provided to Congress are listed in the "Original Documents" Section below.


HR 4600 Will Harm Patients & Enrich Insurers Congressional testimony of Jamie Court (July 17, 2002) HR4600 was considered by Congress in 2002, but was not enacted. Click here to view Mr. Court's testimony .

Five Dangerous Myths About California's Medical Malpractice Restrictions
This factsheet identifies some of the key areas in which insurers have tried to mislead the public about the meaning and impact of California's medical malpractice caps.


  MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE GRAPHS
California Malpractice Insurance Premiums rose 450% during the first 13 years of malpractice caps, reaching the highest levels in state history in 1988, When voters approved Prop 103 that year, physicians premiums fell dramatically.

California and U.S. Malpractice Premiums were generally similar from 1975 until 1988. Only when voters enacted Proposition 103 did California doctors' premiums begin to differ from national trends.

The Insurance Cycle is at the heart of the current insurance crisis. Whenever the economy falls and insurer profits decrease, the insurance industry declares a crisis and raises rates dramatically.

Insurance Companies Return More Dividends to Doctors Under Prop. 103 than they did prior to rate regulation. Insurance industry lobbyists want Congress to believe that Prop 103 had no effect. They often point to NORCAL Mutual Company, but even NORCAL's dividend history shows that Prop 103 saved doctors money.

  ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS
Proposition 103 Requires Medical Malpractice Insurers to Refund Millions to Doctors (California Department of Insurance News Releases)
In order to comply with California insurance reform Prop 103, medical malpractice insurers refunded millions to physicians. These file includes some ogf the original press releases announcing the refunds.

Medical Malpractice Insurers Agreed to Refunds (Stipulations and Consent Orders Concerning Prop 103 Rollbacks)
In 1991 and 1992 California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi settled rate rollback cases with three of California's largest medical malpractice insurers - Norcal Mutual, SCPIE and The Doctors Co. This document contains copies of the original stipulation and consent orders signed by the medical malpractice insurers.

Proposition 103 Freezes Insurance Rates (Original News Articles)
After the enactment of Proposition 103 California Insurance Commisisoner John Garamendi froze insurance rates. This file includes news articles from the early 1990s when Garamendi invoked Proposition 103 and ordered rate freezes for all insurance rates.

Insurance Defense Lawyer Robert Baker's Comments on Impact of MICRA (Testimony before Congress)
Insurance defense attorney Robert Baker, who defended malpractice suits for more than twenty years, told Congress that, "In my view, these malpractice reforms have aided insurance companies and physicians, but have, to a significant extent, been detrimental to person injured by medical negligence."

California Congressional Delegation's Opposition to MICRA (Representative's letter to President Clinton)
In 1995, members of the California Congressional delegation urged President Clinton to oppose caps on damages for patients injured by medical malpractice.

Governor Who Signed MICRA Rebukes Law (Statement of former Cal. Governor Jerry Brown)
Seventeen years after signing MICRA, former Governor Jerry Brown said that he would not recommend it for the nation because in the interlude he "witnessed yet another insurance crisis and found that insurance company avarice, not utilization of the legal system by injured consumers was responsible for excessive premiums."


  RECENT NEWS ARTICLES
Medical malpractice math (March 14, 2005)



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