In November of 2014 the people of the State of California will be casting their votes for several very important state offices, not the least of which is the office of Insurance Commissioner. The current occupant of that office has just come out in support of Proposition 45. If this proposition is successful and passes it will give the Insurance Commissioner the authority to approve or reject requests for premium increases from the Health Insurance carriers selling their policies in California.
Proposition 45 would require the Commissioner to review and approve most health insurance products - including health care service plans traditionally regulated by the Department of Managed Health Care. If this should occur, a tremendous amount of power would pass from the public sector, as far as regulation of rates go, into the governmental sector, meaning one office of state government would have vast financial control of an important part of the insurance industry.
As part of my research about the control of such large amounts of money, I discovered that our current Insurance Commissioner, Mr. Jones, has in the past accepted campaign contributions from attorney firms which represent large insurance companies.
The following information is taken right from the Goldwater-Taplin website which is one of the law firms assisting Commissioner Jones in his campaign. “The Goldwater Taplin Group provides unrivaled representation for the insurance industry. Our contacts and our trusted relationships make GTG the nation's premier choice for insurance industry representation and consultation.
On the state level, GTG members have decades of experience working with state insurance regulators, state legislatures and Governors. We can help you with licensing matters, products approvals and other regulatory matters.
On the federal level, GTG can help you navigate the Halls of Congress and interface with Administration officials. With the federal government exerting more regulatory authority over the insurance industry, you need GTG by your side because we know the players, we know the industry and we know the history behind the issues.”
This law firm of Goldwater-Taplin held fund raising events for Commissioner Jones in Chicago just recently. Another law firm which represents the industry and has given large contributions to Commissioner Jones is Cotchette, Pitre and McCarthy.
I believe that what is taking shape is that large attorney firms who represent insurance companies are making contributions to the insurance commissioner’s campaign in order to exercise influence on the office of Insurance Commissioner if the campaign to pass Proposition 45 is successful.
California’s total insurance industry dollar value in California for 2013 was $123 Billion. The insurance industry in California is large, rich and powerful and they are going to do everything they possibly can to insure a favorable standing with the California Insurance Commissioner.
I believe Commissioner Jones needs to be confronted and held to account for contributions taken from Goldwater Taplin and from Norman Taplin, as well as from other attorney firms which are doing business with insurance companies in this state. Just because he is not taking money directly from the insurance company does not mean it is not finding its way into his pocket.