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Voters resoundingly defeat Proposition 46

November 05, 2014
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Licensing & Regulatory Issues MICRA 


Yesterday, the voters of California spoke loudly and definitively, sending the trial lawyers' Proposition 46 to defeat by a vote of 67 to 33. The message is clear – Californians simply don’t want to increase health care costs and reduce health access so trial attorneys can file more lawsuits.

An increase in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) cap on non-economic damages has been rejected in California again and again: 10 times in court, 5 times in the Legislature and now overwhelmingly by voters. This idea now has its own dedicated spot in California’s political trash heap. 

Although the proponents of Prop. 46 camouflaged their real intentions with poll-tested political “sweeteners,” voters saw right through it anyway.

One of the secret weapons of this effort was the size and diversity of our coalition. We helped amass one of the largest and most diverse coalitions in California history. The breadth of the coalition – which includes labor, business, local government, health providers, community clinics, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, NAACP, taxpayers, teachers, firefighters and more – underscores just how important affordable, accessible health care is to every Californian.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that this extraordinary coalition will remain united and focused on how we can work together to improve patient safety, increase quality care and keep health care accessible for every Californian.

"This was one of the most contentious and high-stakes ballot fights in California history and the physicians of California rose to the occasion. We must use this unity moving forward and showcase to our colleagues the value the California Medical Association brings to our great profession and stay united for whatever comes our way next," says Immediate Past-President of the California Medical Association (CMA) Richard Thorp, M.D., whose term as CMA president came to a close yesterday.

"It is with great honor that I hand over the torch to Luther Cobb, M.D., as he now takes the seat as your CMA President. It has been my honor to serve you during this pivotal year. I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the physicians of California who rallied their patients, families, friends and colleagues to defeat Prop. 46."

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