With the help of the FCA of Maine, lawmakers squashed a bill backed by funeral giant Service Corporation International (also known as Dignity Memorial) that would have allowed funeral home to sell insurance to consumers. So-called “funeral insurance” is usually an expensive scam of a product that’s not in the customer’s best interests. Read more
For the backstory on Montana’s war on affordable funerals, see:
Montana Funeral Directors Try to Shut Down Competition
Montana: The Divine Right of Undertakers II
The state’s funeral industry and its regulatory handmaidens just won’t quit. Read more
6/20/2012—Kudos to Jim Bates of the FCA of North Texas for getting the state to require funeral homes to tell the consumer the price they’re paying newspapers for the column-inches taken up by the funeral home’s logo. Most families have no idea they’re paying for the funeral home to advertise itself, and obituaries are dearly priced these days. Read more
4/27/2012—To our shock, a recently passed bill (HF2369) takes away the ability of local registrars to issue burial-transit permits. Home funeral families are now at the mercy of funeral directors with a conflict of interest or medical examiners who don’t want to cooperate with them. Read more
UPDATE 2/22/12—It looks as though SB 1502 never got out of committee, and some well-placed friends tell us industry lobbyists were surprised to see the opposition from consumer advocates.
2/6/11—Funeral Director trade associations are forever trying to consolidate their power and shut down real consumer protection by dominating state regulatory agencies. Read more
1/22/2012—Someone in the state of Virginia has a case of the “ickies.” If not we can’t imagine why the state legislature is considering a bill to ban alkaline hydrolyis. Alkaline hydrolysis is the process of dissolving the body into an inert liquid using a bath of water and potassium hydroxide—basically it’s dissolving the body in lye. Read more
UDATE 3/11/2012—The bill has died in committee.
1/11/12—Once again cemetery owners are trying to undo the state’s ban on combination funeral home/cemetery businesses. Representative Evan Wynn is sponsoring LRB 3490. And their arguments sound reasonable on the surface: consumers will get one-stop shopping and economies of scale will lower prices. Read more