Potential Raise on the Malpractice Cap

A coalition of Health care organizations are ready to fight a ballot measure over California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), which now appears inevitable after trial lawyers submitted more than 800,000 signatures to qualify their anti-MICRA initiative for the November ballot. Slightly more than 500,000 valid signatures, which will be verified over the next several weeks, are needed for the measure to qualify.

The trial lawyers' measure would more than quadruple MICRA's cap on non-economic damages, raising it to $1.1 million. This would have devastating effects on California's health care system, increasing costs by billions of dollars annually and reducing access to care while allowing lawyers to make more in legal fees. An analysis by the state's independent Legislative Analyst says the measure could also increase costs by "hundreds of millions of dollars annually" for the state and local governments.

Titled "The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act," the trial lawyers' initiative contains additional provisions regarding drug testing of doctors and places infeasible requirements on the state's prescription drug database, which proponents have said were only included in the measure because they polled well with the public.

The coalition Health care organizations are made up of physicians, hospitals, community clinics, business groups, civil liberties groups, local governments and others are working defeat this initiative. The coalition has tens of millions of dollars committed toward a statewide campaign, Stop Higher Health Care Costs, and is working educate the public through the media and newspaper editorials.

To find out more about "The Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act" or to find out how you can take action, please visit www.stophigherhealthcarecosts.com.

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