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Los Angeles Times  
Feb 20, 2005

by Carmen Balber - FTCR

LETTERS -- Malpractice Rates Fell After Prop. 103 Passed

Regarding "Mixed Reviews on Medical Damages Cap," Letters, Feb. 13:

Dr. Robert Hertzka is dead wrong when he claims that doctors' medical malpractice premiums began to fall in 1985 when California's malpractice damage cap law was upheld in court.

In fact, between 1985 and 1988 doctors' malpractice rates grew 47% -- faster than in any year since the passage of the cap.

Only when the voters demanded tough reform of the insurance industry and passed Proposition 103 in 1988 did premiums fall 20% and then stabilize. Proposition 103 froze rates, gave policyholders a mandatory rate rollback and required insurance companies to open the books and obtain prior approval before hiking premiums.

California doctors have Proposition 103 to thank for protecting them from insurance company gouging.

Carmen Balber
Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
Santa Monica, CA

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