It was a big deal when, 25 years ago this month, you and other California voters joined with me to pass Proposition 103, the toughest auto insurance regulation in the nation. But I had no idea exactly how big.
Today, in downtown Los Angeles, the Consumer Federation of America released the findings of a new report: Prop 103 has saved California drivers over $100 billion dollars since 1988. That’s about $8,125 per California household. In fact, California is the only state in the country where auto insurance rates actually went down over the last 25 years.
Back in 1984, the California Legislature passed a law requiring drivers to have auto insurance…but didn’t limit how much insurers could charge. Predictably, insurers hiked prices by double digits. Voters revolted against the price gouging by passing Prop 103, and the result was billions in savings.
Now, the federal health reform law is requiring everyone to buy health insurance. But Obamacare doesn’t limit what insurers can charge. It’s déjà vu all over again. Not surprisingly, insurance companies are hiking prices by double digits.
We Californians have been through this before, and with your help we’ll revolt again next year. Consumer Watchdog has put an initiative on the November 2014 ballot that will apply Prop 103’s money saving reforms to health insurance companies. Health insurers will have to open their books and justify any rate increase before it takes effect.
This will be another David v Goliath battle like the one we won together twenty-five years ago.
Auto insurance in California is a $20 billion a year industry. Health insurance is more than a trillion. Imagine the savings we’ll be celebrating 26 years from now once voters regulate the health insurance industry at the ballot next year.
Thanks for all of your support.
Posted by Harvey Rosenfield – Founder of Consumer Watchdog and author of Proposition 103. For more on Consumer Watchdog and Prop 103 visit our website.