CHA News Article

Anti-MICRA Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot
Oppose to protect access to quality health care

The California Secretary of State announced yesterday that a ballot initiative that would increase the cap on pain-and-suffering damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and require hospitals to drug and alcohol test doctors qualified for the November 2014 ballot.

The California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) cap on non-economic (pain-and-suffering) damages will quadruple if this ballot initiative passes in November. A coalition that includes Consumer Attorneys of California is leading the effort, which will make it easier for lawyers to sue doctors and hospitals and raise the MICRA cap from $250,000 to $1.1 million, with annual increases. The initiative will also require hospitals to conduct random drug and alcohol testing of all medical staff members, as well as testing following adverse events. Drafted with no input from the health care community, the proposed measure contains other provisions that will increase costs, threaten the privacy of personal prescription drug information and jeopardize people’s ability to see their trusted health care providers.

CHA urges all hospitals to oppose this measure by joining Patients and Providers to Protect Access and Contain Health Costs, the campaign coalition working to defeat this measure.