An oxymoron is a rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined. Rescission is an equitable remedy that has existed before the American Revolution and is an essential part of British and American common law. In California the remedy of rescission is governed by statute. To call a rescission “illegal” is to state an oxymoron.

Regardless, the California Insurance Commissioner stated that “Illegal rescissions are a repugnant industry practice.” Because rescission is a remedy available to parties to a contract it cannot, by definition, be illegal. It might be unenforceable or exercised in bad faith, but it can never be “illegal.” Similarly, the U.S. Congress, in its more than 2,000-page health insurance statute, limits the right of insurers to rescind a policy.

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