Prop. 46 Proponents Vow To Continue To Push for Changes
Proponents of a ballot measure that would have increased the cap on pain-and-suffering awards in malpractice lawsuits and required random drug testing for doctors say they will continue to push for changes, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
On Tuesday, California voters rejected Proposition 46 in a 67.1% to 32.9% vote (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/5).
Background on Prop. 46
Proposition 46 aimed to improve patient safety by:
- Increasing the state's $250,000 limit on pain-and-suffering awards in malpractice lawsuits;
- Requiring doctors to undergo random drug-testing; and
- Requiring doctors to use a drug-reporting system.
The campaign against Prop. 46 raised nearly $60 million -- seven times more than the campaign supporting the ballot initiative (California Healthline, 11/5).
Comments From Opponents, Supporters
Dustin Corcoran -- CEO of the California Medical Association and chair of opposition campaign, said, "California voters spoke loudly and definitively: In this health care environment, undermining California's long-standing malpractice cap is a political poison pill and a policy 'third rail.'"
He added that Californians voted against the measure because increasing the payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits would have led to higher health care costs and reduced access to care.
However, Jamie Court -- president of Consumer Watchdog, which backed Prop. 46 -- attributed "big corporate money" and low voter turnout for the defeat.
He said, "The families of innocent victims of negligence deserve access to justice," adding, "The fight for patient and consumer protections is just beginning. We will continue that battle" (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/5).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.