Consumer Watchdog Campaign (CWC) was organized to protect consumers' interests in the ballot initiative and legislative process.
CWC is supporting the Fairness for Injured Patients Act headed to the November 2022 California ballot. It would make health care safer and restore access to justice for patients harmed by medical errors. The Fairness for Injured Patients Act would update a law passed by politicians in 1975 that capped compensation for victims of medical negligence and has prevented many from ever seeking justice. The cap has not been updated in nearly 50 years, and disproportionately harms women, children, the elderly, low-income patients and communities of color. Two families whose children have lifetime disabilities because of medical negligence are the proponents of the Fairness Act.
Click here to learn more about Steven Olsen and Mia Moreno, and the Fairness for Injured Patients Act.
CWC defeated California Proposition 17 in 2010 and Proposition 33 in 2012. Both ballot measures were backed by Mercury Insurance Company and its billionaire CEO, George Joseph, who sought to allow the company to overcharge poor drivers for car insurance. We defeated Proposition 17 after being outspent $17 million to $1 million and, when Mercury’s CEO brought the same idea back in the zombie proposition Prop 33, we defeated it again despite being outspent 70 to 1.
Read about Prop 17:
And Prop 33:
In 2014, CWC responded to double digit health insurance rate hikes by sponsoring a ballot initiative to make health insurance companies open their books and justify rate increases before they take effect. The law that requires property insurance companies to justify their rates for home, auto and business insurance has saved drivers more than $150 billion since 1988, according to the Consumer Federation of America. We fell short in that battle, in one of the lowest-turnout elections in California history, yet the need to rein in for-profit insurance industry has never been clearer.
Read about that measure:
In 1998, CWC sponsored Proposition 9, to roll back parts of the electricity deregulation law passed by California lawmakers in 1996. Prop 9 failed, but proved prescient when just a few years later rolling blackouts caused by utility market manipulation plunged California into darkness, cost taxpayers billions, and provided the spark for the recall of governor Gray Davis.
Learn more about Prop 9:
And in 1996, Consumer Watchdog Campaign placed the first Patients' Bill of Rights proposition in the United States on the California ballot. Proposition 216 failed to pass, yet just two years later most of its provisions were signed into law, extending broad rights to HMO patients in California. That law became the model for a national Patient Bill of Rights that passed the U.S. Congress in 2001.
Read about the Patient Bill of Rights: