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Proposition 103 Insurance 'Mess'

December 25, 1988

While the content of your editorial "An Even Messier Mess" (Nov. 25) makes sense and is factually accurate, it misses the point insofar as it looks at trees and doesn't see the forest.

The reality is that in California insurance is a tax. Yes, a tax. We Californians are required to pay it by law even if we never had an accident or a ticket. And whether the skyrocketing rates are the fault of the insurers or the Legislature does not really matter. The voters were dealing with the effect, not the cause. Given the choice between more nourishing food for our children and paying an exorbitant insurance premium, we have to pay the premium so we can drive to work to earn the money to buy the less nourishing food.

When the voters enacted Proposition 103, it became law. The insurance companies want to change it. I have no problem with their attempt. But I have a major problem with their ignoring the law until the attempt takes its course. That is tantamount to no one paying the bail on a speeding ticket because the law may change to raise the speed limit.

The insurance companies' tactics since the election are being perceived by the electorate as having the stench of the tactics of organized crime, and a growing number of the persons I talk with are saying that perhaps we should start treating the insurance companies the same way they treat us. What would they do if united, Californians held back their premium payments until the companies abided by the law we passed?

As long as insurance is mandatory, there can be no argument against its regulation by the people in a democratic society.

HARRY POLGAR

Downey

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