March 24, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Licensing & Regulatory Issues MICRA
Today, Consumer Watchdog and the state’s trial attorneys announced that by the end of the day they will be submitting signatures in county registrar of voters offices across the state, setting in motion a validation process that will likely land an initiative aimed at gutting California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) on the November ballot.
Under California’s constitution, parties seeking to place an initiative on the 2014 statewide ballot are required to submit slightly more than 500,000 valid signatures to registrars of voters in the counties where those signatures were collected. Consumer Watchdog, the trial attorney front group, has been submitting signatures to smaller counties across California since late last week, and it is expected that today’s submissions will push their initiative over the required threshold.
As previous noted, the trial attorneys' ballot measure seeks to more than quadruple MICRA’s cap on non-economic damages, lifting the amount to roughly $1.2 million. The initiative also contains provisions regarding drug testing of physicians and places unrealistic and infeasible requirements on the state’s prescription drug database, which proponents have said were only added because they polled well and are the “ultimate sweetener.”
With these signatures submitted, the fight to defend MICRA begins in earnest.
Once submitted, the signatures cannot be withdrawn, meaning that, if a sufficient number are validated, an initiative that would increase costs, limit access to care and threaten the existence of community clinics across California will be appearing on the November ballot.
California physicians must stand together in opposition of this ballot measure!
If successful, the trial attorneys' ballot measure would have devastating effects on California’s health care industry and could also pass on “hundreds of millions of dollars” annually state and local governments, according to an impartial analysis by the state’s Legislative Analyst.
For more information on the proposed initiative, as well as how you can help defeat this ballot measure, please visit the MICRA resource center.