Court, Jamie


Jamie Court is President of Consumer Watchdog, a nationally recognized consumer group that has been fighting corrupt corporations and crooked politicians since 1985.

Lawmakers Pressed for Better Patient Safety, but Californians Must Demand Change

By Jamie Court

There aren't too many great days for patient safety in state capitols, where the medical establishment tends to rule the roost through the power of its political giving and tentacles. But Monday was a great day for patient safety in Sacramento, when powerful testimony reminded legislators of the human cost of inaction.

Will Gas Prices Continue To Keep Californians Over A Barrel?

By Jamie Court

Californians finally saw $5 per gallon at their pumps last week. Unfortunately, it's not likely to be the last time.

The Los Angeles Times published my op-ed Friday, "Refueling California," where I detail how sudden price spikes will plague drivers here until we adopt some simple reforms recommended by a state taskforce more than a decade ago.

The Marie Antoinette Of Health Insurance & How To Dethrone Her

By Jamie Court
Consumer Watchdog

Two years ago, as federal health reform lay on death’s door, CEO Angela Braly, head of Blue Cross’s parent company Wellpoint, spit on beleaguered patients. She sat through poignant Congressional testimony from customers whose lives were being ruined by spiraling premium hikes, then Braly testified that the public outrage was "a triumph of sound bites over substance."

The CEO’s arrogance and Anthem Blue Cross’s planned 39% rate hike were enough to revive federal reform in the court of public opinion. The federal law passed, but failed to give California the power to reject unreasonable rate hikes.

That’s why, on May 1, one million Californians began paying hundreds of millions of dollars more for their health insurance. It's a plot right out of Groundhog Day, only it happens every Spring, Winter, Summer and Fall.

The Preview Health Insurance Executives Don’t Want You To See

By Jamie Court
Consumer Watchdog

Starting this week one million Californians will pay hundreds of millions of dollars more for their health insurance. It's a plot right out of Groundhog Day, only it happens every Spring, Winter, Summer and Fall.

Health insurance rates in California are like a runaway train and there's no police force or firefighting squad with the power to stop them.  Thirty five states require health insurance companies to get permission before raising rates, but not California.

So Hollywood’s fighting back with a short movie trailer preview of an alternative future. This short preview is of the impact of a real ballot proposal – which only needs another two hundred thousand signatures to qualify for the November ballot. With enough signatures, Californians can then decide their own fate and stop outrageous rate hikes.

Texas Oil Price Gouging Behind Drive to Stop Greenhouse Gas Caps

By Jamie Court
Consumer Watchdog

When the eighth largest economy in the world establishes a landmark greenhouse gas emissions cap, you can bet oil companies are going to try to find a way to knock it down for one reason: money.

A new report shows the motivation behind one Texas oil giant's crusade against California's landmark greenhouse emissions law: big profits from price gouging of drivers.

The report by Consumer Watchdog's Oilwatchdog project shows Californians have endured higher gasoline prices than the rest of the nation while Texas-based Valero has averaged 37% higher margins on each barrel of oil it refined in California. The result -- $4.5 billion in profits.

Corporate "Smart" Initiatives Will Test California Voters' Smarts Tuesday

By Jamie Court
Consumer Watchdog

During my two decades battling in California's ballot initiative process never before have large corporations been poised to gain so much so cleverly as in next Tuesday's election.

Industries have long tried to lard ballots with outright power grabs and voters have sent them packing. What Tuesday's ballot represents is new stealth strikes by corporations going at it alone for discrete rights and privileges that legislatures, courts and voters have denied them before.