The Times reported that the insurance industry plans to spend $20 million to $30 million to finance the insurance initiatives it is sponsoring. What The Times did not report is the alarming fact that this $20 million to $30 million is money derived from policyholder premiums. This money was paid to purchase insurance, not to fund political campaigns or initiatives. Using premium dollars to finance political campaigns or initiatives ought to be illegal. I have asked the insurance commissioner to look into this matter, but she has not responded.
The insurance initiative sponsored by the Insurance Consumer Action Network and supported by the trial lawyers contains real rate regulation measures. It was written with the help of Atty. Gen. John Van De Kamp and Assemblyman Lloyd Connelly (D-Sacramento), who are two of the greatest insurance reform champions in this state. The other insurance reform measure is being backed by Ralph Nader. These are all being financed by private donations. Every policyholder of insurance should object to his premium dollars being used by the insurance industry for any other reason than what the premium was designed for--to purchase insurance.
Is the insurance commissioner going to stand by and let insurance companies throw away premium dollars on media campaigns?
WILLIAM M. SHERNOFF