Spending To Defeat Props. 45, 46 Far Exceeds Funding for Support
Spending on efforts to defeat two November ballot initiatives related to health insurance rate regulation and random drug testing of physicians far outpaces spending to promote the measures, according to data from MapLight, the Los Angeles Times' "The Economy Hub" reports (Hiltzik, "The Economy Hub," Los Angeles Times, 10/1).
Background on Props. 45, 46
Prop. 45 -- which is being promoted by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) and Consumer Watchdog -- would give the state regulatory authority to monitor and control health care premium rates, similar to how it controls automobile and property rates (California Healthline, 9/4).
Meanwhile, Prop. 46 aims 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 (California Healthline, 9/11).
The measures will appear on the state's Nov. 4 ballot (California Healthline, 9/4).
Details of Spending
As of Sept. 24, insurers had contributed more than $88 million spent to defeat the measures.
A total of about $38 million has been spent on efforts to defeat Prop. 45, including:
- $14.6 million from Kaiser Permanente;
- $12.5 million from WellPoint; and
- $10 million from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
Consumer Watchdog -- the advocacy group that sponsored both ballot measures -- has contributed most of the $664,000 spent to promote Prop. 45.
Meanwhile, opponents of Prop. 46 -- mostly malpractice insurers -- have spent more than $50 million to defeat the measure.
Consumer attorneys have contributed most of the $2.6 million raised to support Prop. 46 ("The Economy Hub," Los Angeles Times, 10/1).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.