October 13, 2013
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy
In a record-setting show of support for CALPAC, the California Medical Association (CMA) political action committee, members of the CMA House of Delegates this weekend contributed a total of roughly $176,000, besting last year’s previous high of $152,000 by $24,000.
The remarkable number was reached without harming the facial hair of any physicians in attendance. Last year, if you recall, then CALPAC chair and new CMA president Richard E. Thorp, M.D., promised to shave his famous moustache in front of the House if the delegates hit the $150,000 mark.
The new record was instead spurred in large part by the trial lawyers’ all-out assault on California's historic tort reform law, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). The trial-lawyer backed Consumer Watchdog has submitted language for a ballot initiative that would more than quadruple California's current $250,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases and create a cash windfall for the trial attorneys who calculate their fees based upon the size of the total jury award. CALPAC is the first line of defense for California’s historic physician protections, which help keep malpractice premiums in-check and ensure that California’s patients have access to affordable health care.
While the record breaking donations were a House-wide effort, several districts and sections boasted an unprecedented 100 percent participation, including the medical student and resident/fellow sections.
The donations collected over the weekend, as well as all contributions made to CALPAC, will be used to defend MICRA and to support candidates who share medicine’s agenda and priorities and will work to affect policies beneficial to the House of Medicine.