CMA Drops Plan to Sponsor Ballot Measure to Fund Trauma Centers with Increased Motor Vehicle Fines
The California Medical Association has decided not to sponsor a ballot measure that would have increased fines for motor vehicle violations to help fund the state's "ailing" emergency rooms and trauma centers, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The CMA had teamed with firefighters, emergency room physicians and hospitals to develop the measure, which analysts predicted would have resulted in an additional $300 million per year in fines for driving under the influence of alcohol and other violations (Ainsworth, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/2). In February, the coalition submitted the ballot measure to the Attorney General's office (California Healthline, 2/6). However, CMA President Dr. John Whitelaw said that the coalition decided to abandon the ballot measure after polls "convinced physicians that public support wasn't as strong as they would have liked." The coalition also had faced an early May deadline to submit the signatures required to place the measure on the November ballot. Whitelaw said that the coalition will still "continue to look for ways to pump money" into the state's emergency rooms and trauma centers. "The problem isn't going away. It needs a solution," he said. The Union-Tribune reports that state lawmakers have separately considered proposals to increase fines for motor vehicle violations and raise alcohol taxes for this purpose (San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/2).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.