Protect Access to Quality Health Care and Patient Privacy
-Oppose the Costly MICRA Measure-
Here’s why a broad coalition of doctors, community health clinics, hospitals, local governments, public safety, business and labor opposes the proposed November ballot proposition that would make it easier and more profitable for lawyers to sue doctors and hospitals:
Costly for consumers and taxpayers.
- According to California’s independent Legislative Analyst, the proposition could increase state and local government malpractice and health care costs by “hundreds of millions of dollars annually” placing the burden of this additional cost on all of us.
- County and state hospitals have to pay medical malpractice awards out of the budgets they receive from taxpayers. If medical malpractice awards increase, government costs will increase too. Somebody has to pay, and that will be taxpayers through higher taxes and California citizens through higher health care premiums.
- This measure vastly increases the number of lawsuits filed in California. That’s why the independent legislative analyst says that county and state hospitals will see costs of tens of millions of dollars that taxpayers will have to pay.
Jeopardizes the privacy of our personal health information.
- This measure requires a government database with personal information on patients’ prescription drug history. Hackers have already managed to access personal information from millions of Target customers and even the Pentagon, and another big database will only make our information more vulnerable.
A misleading measure intended to fool the voters.
- This measure was written by trial attorneys to make it easier and more profitable for lawyers to sue doctors and hospitals — even if that means higher health costs for the rest of us. Our health laws should protect access to care and control costs for everyone, not increase lawsuits and payouts for lawyers.
- This is another example of special interest legislation trying to fool the voters into thinking this about something that it’s not. The authors of this proposal purposely threw in drug testing doctors to disguise the real intent, which is to increase the limits on medical malpractice awards so that trial lawyers make even more money. The main proponent of the measure was recently quoted in the LA Times: “The drug rules are in the initiative because they poll well, and the backers figure that's the way to get the public to support the measure. ‘It's the ultimate sweetener,’ said Jamie Court, head of Consumer Watchdog.”
Jeopardizes patient access to quality health care.
- This measure will cause doctors to leave the state and practice in places where malpractice insurance rates are lower. Many people could lose their personal physicians if this measure were to become law.
- Community health care clinics, like Planned Parenthood, say this measure will raise insurance costs that will cause specialists, like OBGYNs to reduce or eliminate services to their patients. Finding doctors to deliver children in rural areas and community clinics is already difficult and reducing services will make a bad situation worse.
- There are regrettably individual tragic cases of medical negligence. Currently, the law requires unlimited awards for gross negligence, and unlimited awards for loss of future income and unlimited awards for past, present and future medical expenses. It is wrong to increase costs for all Californians when the system is working as is.
Paid for by Patients, Providers and Healthcare Insurers to Protect Access and Contain Health Costs, with major funding from the California Medical Association Physicians’ Issues Committee and The Doctors Company
(916) 710 -2288 • PO Box 2511, Sacramento CA 95812-9930