Sacramento – As Hispanic Heritage Month ends, Latinx groups across the state are asking voters to oppose a dangerous initiative that will appear on the November 2022 ballot. The groups join more than 300 organizations in opposition, including community clinics, doctors, nurses and local groups throughout California.
“Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize the history, culture and achievements of Hispanic Americans – a time to celebrate Hispanic American champions who have worked tirelessly to fight for their communities,” said José Alberto Arévalo, MD FAAFP, Chairman, Latinx Physicians of California. “Over the last 18 months, Latinx physicians have put our lives on the line, stepping up our communities to ensure that California’s essential workforce, many of whom are Latinx, have access to the care and treatment they need. This so-called Fairness for Injured Patients Act would undermine all of that work and jeopardize our work toward health equity.”
The initiative, funded primarily by a wealthy out-of-state trial attorney, will appear on the November 2022 ballot. As written, the measure would effectively eliminate California’s medical lawsuit limits by creating a new and broadly defined category of malpractice lawsuits, which would result in financial windfalls for California’s trial attorneys, hurting California’s most vulnerable patients.
“The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Latinx community harder than most. In an already fractured healthcare delivery system, many in our community struggled to find access to timely testing and swift care. Thankfully, community clinics and non-profit based programs stepped up to not only ensure that COVID-19 related illness was addressed, but that routine medical care, vaccines and preventative health visits could happen,” said Jane Garcia, Chief Executive Officer of La Clínica de La Raza. “We must look ahead and continue championing health equity. A measure like this one would put all of that on the line. Health centers would have to cut back services and nonprofit partners would have to shift resources. We cannot allow this to happen. We must vote No next November.”
In 2014, voters overwhelmingly voted No on Proposition 46, which would have made substantial changes in the state’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). This measure goes well beyond what Prop. 46 would have done and the cost to California taxpayers would be far greater, as noted by the independent Legislative Analyst Office (LAO).
“This measure would likely have a wide variety of fiscal effects on state and local governments,” the LAO said, adding that, “Annual government costs likely ranging from the low tens of millions of dollars to the high hundreds of millions of dollars.”
For more information about Californians to Protect Patients and Contain Health Care Costs, please visit protectmicra.org.