November 18, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Licensing & Regulatory Issues MICRA
The California Medical Association (CMA)-led collation working to protect California’s landmark Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) has published a patient education brochure to help inform California voters about the ballot initiative being pushed by trial attorneys. The ballot measure would impact access to care for patients, causing community health centers and physician offices across the state to close.
MICRA opponents have already begun collecting signatures in an attempt to place language on the November 2014 ballot. California trial lawyers are attempting to lift MICRA’s cap on speculative, non-economic damages, presenting ballot language that seeks to more than quadruple the maximum award for non-economic damages to roughly $1.1 million. A change like that would mean increased health care costs for everyone, and decreased access to care that so many patients count on.
The well-funded opponents, led by the trial lawyers, have already poured over a million dollars into the campaign to undo MICRA. The threat against MICRA is more serious now than it has ever been, which is why together, with nearly 1,000 organizations dedicated to protecting MICRA, we must fight back.
There is no doubt that physicians understand how catastrophic a measure like this would be for access to affordable health care. To win this fight, voters, our patients – those we interact with everyday in our practices – must understand the fact that protecting MICRA goes hand-in-hand with protecting access to quality health care in California.
The pamphlet, published by “Patients, Providers and Healthcare Insurers to Protect Access and Contain Health Costs,” can be distributed to patients during office visits and will be accompanied by talking points for physicians to ensure that any conversation regarding MICRA is about educating patients on the real impacts the proposed ballot measure would have, if passed.
Sample pamphlets will be mailed this week to a select group of CMA members. If you think this information would be of benefit to your patients, contact Yna Shimabukuro at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 551-2567 to receive 50 copies for your office.