Historic Bill to Modernize California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act Passes Assembly with Overwhelming Support

With a 66 - 0 vote, AB 35 now moves to Governor’s desk 

Sacramento - Today, in a momentous vote, the Assembly passed AB 35 (Reyes, Umberg) 66 to 0. The bill, which modernizes California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA), will now move to the Governor’s desk for signature.

“Today’s vote confirms the broad based support for the compromise reached on MICRA,” said Lisa Maas, Executive Director of Californians Allied for Patient Protection. “This bill will help to ensure health care providers can keep their doors open while also balancing the financial needs of patients with health care related injuries. We applaud the work of the Assembly for their commitment to move this bill to Governor Newsom.”

The bill passed out of the Senate last week with a nearly unanimous vote.

“For nearly 50 years MICRA closed the door to justice for patients injured by medical negligence,” said Nick Rowley, author and principal funder of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act.  “This agreement makes the law better and will help injured patients have better access to the courts and increase accountability in health care. The legislative resolution we reached ends a decades long political fight that pitted patients and families against insurance companies. Solving our most protracted problems requires us to listen to each other and keep an open mind. That’s what happened here, and is an example hope others will follow.”

“The Assembly's passage of this historic compromise affirms the important principle that injured patients deserve to be fairly compensated when they have been harmed by medical negligence,” said Craig M. Peters, President of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC). “CAOC is grateful for the determined efforts of injured patients and their families, who have fought against MICRA and have been the spearhead of the fifty-year fight to restore access to justice.”

After decades of political debate, this updated framework will extend the long-term predictability and affordability of medical liability protections for those providing medical care in California while providing a fair and reasonable increase to limits on non-economic damages for medical negligence beginning January 1, 2023, with gradual increases thereafter.

The legislation will most notably adjust MICRA’s cap on non-economic damages, which is currently limited to $250,000.  This new law will increase the existing limit to $350,000 for non-death cases and $500,000 for wrongful death cases on the effective date January 1, 2023, followed by incremental increases over 10 years to $750,000 for non-death cases and $1,000,000 for wrongful death cases, after which a 2.0% annual inflationary adjustment will apply.

The proposal will also create three separate categories of caps, which could apply depending on the facts of each case.  Additionally, a health care provider or health care institution can only be held liable for damages under one category regardless of how the categories are applied or combined. The new categories include:

Proponents of the measure will have it removed from the ballot in advance of the June 28, 2022 deadline.

What They’re Saying: Health Care Providers, Community Health Centers, Elected Officials and Local Leaders Applaud Historic Compromise on California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA)

Sacramento – Health care providers, community health centers, elected officials and local leaders have resoundingly supported a compromise announced last week that would modernize California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) and preclude a costly ballot measure this fall. The framework was adapted into Assembly Bill 35 (Reyes, Umberg) and overwhelmingly passed out of the Senate today.

Governor Gavin Newsom:

“This agreement signals the end to one of the most long standing battles in California politics, and strikes a fair balance protecting patients, while ensuring that physicians and other medical professionals can treat patients without fear of financial ruin,” said Governor Newsom. “This is an important victory for the stability and health of our healthcare system, and for patients across California.”

Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego):

“This bill will go a long way to help patients and their families seek justice when injured after obtaining care,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins. “The collaborative effort from all sides will ultimately strengthen protections for Californians and I’m appreciative to my colleagues, Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes and Senator Tom Umberg, for their leadership, and to the coalition, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Speaker Anthony Rendon, for their dedication to help settle this issue for the public good.”

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood):

“This is a strong accomplishment and I want to thank all parties for working out a deal,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). “This includes Majority Leader Eloise Reyes for her hand in the process. This is a great example of what can be accomplished when historically opposing sides talk with one another. The people of California benefit.”

Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Inland Empire):

“Times have changed, but MICRA hasn’t. Although there have been countless efforts to update the language in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, there has been little success,” said Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes, the enabling bill’s lead author. “This year, the stakeholders representing patients and the medical community were determined to provide a balanced and equitable solution. They have succeeded. The result is AB 35, which represents a monumental agreement for the benefit of all involved.”

Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana):

“As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a practicing attorney, I know first-hand that an update to California’s medical malpractice statutes is long overdue,” said the bill’s Senate author, Senator Tom Umberg. “I’m impressed with the work that has gone into this proposal by all stakeholders and proud to be playing a role in restructuring the system in a manner that is fair to all parties.”

Senator Patricia Bates (R- Laguna Niguel):

“It’s in the best interests of our health care system to end the contentious debates on MICRA that have long plagued Sacramento,” said Senator Patricia Bates. “AB 35 opens a future of predictability and accessibility that have been challenged time and time again with expensive ballot measures and political infighting. I look forward to working with my colleagues to swiftly move this bill to the Governor’s desk.”

Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee):

“AB 35 puts special interest aside and prioritizes patients and accessible health care,” said Senator Brian Jones. “I’m proud to support this historic bill that will promote stability in our health care delivery system for decades to come.”

Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita):

“This bill provides a critical update to the law that will ensure patients remain the priority and health care providers can keep their doors open in underserved areas of California,” said Senator Scott Wilk.

Californians Allied for Patient Protection:

“We have long advocated for policies that protect both patients and the essential guardrails established under MICRA that ensure broad-based access to care for all Californians,” said Lisa Maas, Executive Director, Californians Allied for Patient Protection. “Today’s announcement demonstrates a unified commitment by all stakeholders to put the interests and wellbeing of Californians first.”

Charles Johnson, Chair of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act:

“This is about justice for families, especially women of color who experience more medical negligence in a biased health care system and then are denied accountability because of California’s outdated cap,” said Charles Johnson, Chair of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act. “When the Legislature approves this compromise, families will finally be able to find an attorney and have their day in court. That’s what I wanted for Kira. I want to be able to tell my sons that we restored Californians’ access to justice.”

California Medical Association:

“This balanced proposal represents a historic opportunity to modernize and update MICRA while preserving its essential guardrails, strengthening provider protections and providing fair compensation for injured patients,” said Robert E. Wailes, M.D., President of the California Medical Association. “We appreciate the Legislature and the Newsom Administration for their work in enacting this watershed agreement that will ensure a brighter future for California’s health delivery system.”

Nick Rowley, Author of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act:

“After nearly 50 years of inaction on a law that capped the value of human life and losing my own son to medical negligence, I wrote and funded the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to effectuate much-needed change,” said Nick Rowley, author and primary funder of the November ballot measure. “I never envisioned a legislative compromise, but I’m very proud that our work has led us to this point. When this becomes law, we will have changed history for the better.”

Consumer Attorneys of California:

“CAOC has fought tirelessly alongside thousands of injured patients for the last fifty years to make sure they are fairly compensated when their rights have been violated,” said Craig Peters, President, Consumer Attorneys of California. “After decades of impasse, we have finally reached an historic agreement with medical providers that finally updates California’s Medical Injury Compensation Act of 1975 to prioritize patients’ access to justice and quality health care.”

California Dental Association:

“This is a rare opportunity to achieve long-term stability and certainty about the future of the state’s MICRA law,” said CDA President Dr. Ariane Terlet. “This agreement is in the best interest of patients and providers because it will protect patient access, ensure high-quality care and continue to contain health care costs as opposed to the sudden, drastic cost increases this year’s ballot measure or future measures would bring.”

California Primary Care Association:

“Community health centers share a common mission of providing community based, high-quality access to health care that is culturally competent and accessible to all,” said Francisco Silva, President and CEO of the California Primary Care Association. “This legislative proposal provides a balance that will protect our community health centers financial ability to provide such comprehensive health care while also advancing our patient’s wellbeing.”

California Hospital Association:

“AB 35 puts Californians first by extending important guardrails within our legal system that help ensure health care is accessible to all Californians, while at the same time securing a path toward fair compensation for patients who have experienced a health care-related injury,” said Carmela Coyle, President & CEO of the California Hospital Association and Board Chair of CAPP. “We are proud to support AB 35 because it creates a stronger health care system for California, and peace of mind for patients and their families.”

Central Valley Health Network:

“As a network of more than 300 community health center sites that serve some of California’s most vulnerable patients, it’s a relief to see that AB 35 will take the place of a costly ballot fight this November,” said Jason Vega, Central Valley Health Network CEO. “Our health centers serve hundreds of thousands of Californians and ensuring we have the capacity to keep our doors open and provide critical care to some of our most underserved is essential to our state’s safety net.”

Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County:

“The Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County (CCALAC), which represents more than 65 nonprofit health centers across LA County, is glad to see patients being put above special interests,’ said Louise McCarthy, President and CEO of CCALAC. “AB 35 will ensure that health centers are able to keep their doors open and serve the communities that depend on our care.”

La Clinica de La Raza:

“La Clínica was founded on a simple mission: that every person deserves access to high-quality, culturally appropriate health care, regardless of their ability to pay,” said La Clínica de La Raza CEO Jane Garcia. “We are glad to see AB 35 will replace a dangerous ballot measure that would have decimated our ability to continue providing care to some of the Bay Area’s most vulnerable patients.”

California Association for Nurse Practitioners:

“The California Association for Nurse Practitioners (CANP) is committed to bridging gaps in the health care delivery system and meeting the needs of patients,” said Patti Gurney, MSN, PCPNP-BC, President of CANP.  “We are pleased to support AB 35 because the legislation meets our mission and will preclude a costly ballot measure that would have jeopardized access to care and increased health care costs for all Californians.”

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California:

“This compromise will help to ensure that community health centers across California that serve some of our state’s most vulnerable patients, will have continued access to safe, affordable health care,” said Jodi Hicks, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO. “It was important for Planned Parenthood to have a voice in this process because the proposed initiative would have caused significant harm to California’s safety net. We’re pleased to see a solution that creates long term stability and protects access to care for those who need it most.”

Birth Equity Advocacy Project:

"When this legislation passes, families of color and low-income families will, for the first time, have a true path to justice and accountability for themselves and their loved ones,” said Morgan White, Director of the Birth Equity Advocacy Project. “For Black moms this is monumental."

California’s Legislative Leaders Join Health Care Providers, Consumer Attorneys and Patient Advocates in Announcing Landmark Agreement to Modernize California's Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA)

SACRAMENTO – In a historic agreement, California’s legislative leaders today joined with Californians Allied for Patient Protection, Consumer Attorneys of California and both the Yes and No campaigns of a scheduled November ballot measure to announce a new consensus has been reached between health care, legal and consumer advocates on legislation to modernize the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).

MICRA, first passed and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 1975, was established to set limits on medical malpractice awards, balancing compensatory justice for injured patients against important legal and financial protections for health care providers.  After decades of political debate, this updated framework will extend the long-term predictability and affordability of medical liability protections for those providing medical care in California while providing a fair and reasonable increase to limits on non-economic damages for medical negligence beginning January 1, 2023, with gradual increases thereafter.

“This bill will go a long way to help patients and their families seek justice when injured after obtaining care,” said Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego). “The collaborative effort from all sides will ultimately strengthen protections for Californians and I’m appreciative to my colleagues, Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes and Senator Tom Umberg, for their leadership, and to the coalition, Governor Gavin Newsom, and Speaker Anthony Rendon, for their dedication to help settle this issue for the public good.”

“This is a strong accomplishment and I want to thank all parties for working out a deal,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). “This includes Majority Leader Eloise Reyes for her hand in the process. This is a great example of what can be accomplished when historically opposing sides talk with one another. The people of California benefit.”

“We have long advocated for policies that protect both patients and the essential guardrails established under MICRA that ensure broad-based access to care for all Californians,” said Lisa Maas, Executive Director, Californians Allied for Patient Protection. “Today’s announcement demonstrates a unified commitment by all stakeholders to put the interests and wellbeing of Californians first.”

The legislation will most notably adjust MICRA’s cap on non-economic damages, which is currently limited to $250,000.  This new law will increase the existing limit to $350,000 for non-death cases and $500,000 for wrongful death cases on the effective date January 1, 2023, followed by incremental increases over 10 years to $750,000 for non-death cases and $1,000,000 for wrongful death cases, after which a 2.0% annual inflationary adjustment will apply.

“After nearly 50 years of inaction on a law that capped the value of human life and losing my own son to medical negligence, I wrote and funded the Fairness for Injured Patients Act to effectuate much-needed change,” said Nick Rowley, author and primary funder of the November ballot measure. “I never envisioned a legislative compromise, but I’m very proud that our work has led us to this point. When this becomes law, we will have changed history for the better.”

“CAOC has fought tirelessly alongside thousands of injured patients for the last fifty years to make sure they are fairly compensated when their rights have been violated,” said Craig Peters, President, Consumer Attorneys of California. “After decades of impasse, we have finally reached an historic agreement with medical providers that finally updates California’s Medical Injury Compensation Act of 1975 to prioritize patients’ access to justice and quality health care.”

“This balanced proposal modernizes and updates MICRA while preserving its essential guardrails, strengthening provider protections and providing for fair compensation for injured patients,” said Dustin Corcoran, CEO of the California Medical Association and Chair of the Campaign to Protect Access and Contain Costs. “This framework is essential to our shared goal of health access for all Californians.  We look forward to working with the Legislature and the Newsom Administration to enact this historic proposal.”

The proposal will also create three separate categories of caps, which could apply depending on the facts of each case.  Additionally, a health care provider or health care institution can only be held liable for damages under one category regardless of how the categories are applied or combined. The new categories include:

“Times have changed, but MICRA hasn’t. Although there have been countless efforts to update the language in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, there has been little success,” said Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-Inland Empire), the enabling bill’s lead author.  “This year, the stakeholders representing patients and the medical community were determined to provide a balanced and equitable solution.  They have succeeded.  The result is AB 35, which represents a monumental agreement for the benefit of all involved.”

“As Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a practicing attorney, I know first-hand that an update to California’s medical malpractice statutes is long overdue,” said the bill’s Senate author, Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana). “I’m impressed with the work that has gone into this proposal by all stakeholders and proud to be playing a role in restructuring the system in a manner that is fair to all parties.”

“This is about justice for families, especially women of color who experience more medical negligence in a biased health care system and then are denied accountability because of California’s outdated cap,” said Charles Johnson, Chair of the Fairness for Injured Patients Act. “When the Legislature approves this compromise, families will finally be able to find an attorney and have their day in court. That’s what I wanted for Kira. I want to be able to tell my sons that we restored Californians’ access to justice.”

​​“This compromise will help to ensure that community health centers across California that serve some of our state’s most vulnerable patients, will have continued access to safe, affordable health care,” said Jodi Hicks, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California President and CEO. “It was important for Planned Parenthood to have a voice in this process because the proposed initiative would have caused significant harm to California’s safety net. We’re pleased to see a solution that creates long term stability and protects access to care for those who need it most.”

Once passed and signed by the Governor, this legislative framework will preclude a costly ballot measure that was set to appear on the November ballot.

Cal Matters: Medical Malpractice Ballot Measure Would Benefit Lawyers

Perhaps more than any state in America, California continues to make progress toward the historic promise of health access for all.

Vital to that prognosis has been our state’s community health centers, located in medically underserved communities and providing diverse, vulnerable populations with primary and reproductive care.

Pandemic-related stresses on our overall health system, including the most recent hospitalization surge, has underscored the safety-net imperative of a strong and financially solvent system of community clinics.

It would be hard to imagine a worse possible time to pass a ballot measure that would disrupt the financing of California’s community health centers and access to the physicians and other clinicians providing essential care to Californians in need while increasing health costs for every Californian. But that’s what the proponents of the misleadingly self-proclaimed Fairness for Injured Patients Act, or Changes to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits Cap Initiative, appearing on the statewide ballot in November are trying to do.

This measure would dramatically impact the cost and delivery of health care in California – but it’s not written by health experts or real-life medical practitioners. Instead it was drafted to allow a few to make millions more from filing personal injury lawsuits.

What’s worse, is that supporters are not saying what this measure would truly do.

For many years, California’s medical liability system has been protected by a bipartisan series of laws called MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, which has balanced the rights of injured patients while keeping health care more accessible and affordable for all patients.

While injured patients can receive unlimited payments for economic losses and medical expenses, there is a “cap” on non-economic damages. Despite what proponents are saying, the Fairness for Injured Patients Act would dramatically overhaul our health system far beyond a simple increase in the MICRA cap.

In fact, the Fairness for Injured Patients Act brazenly creates a new category of injury with no cap whatsoever – which is broadly defined and can include outcomes as innocuous as unwanted scarring. This is the loophole that would effectively obliterate the MICRA cap and start a mad dash by enterprising attorneys filing countless new lawsuits in already overcrowded courts.

To no one’s surprise, the Fairness for Injured Patients Act’s fine print stealthily removes all existing caps on attorney’s fees, resulting in huge financial windfalls for trial lawyers who sue doctors, nurses, clinicians and other health providers for a living. It also creates a new process that prohibits judges from independently verifying the truthfulness of statements made by trial attorneys in the initial court filings – another incentive for more frivolous lawsuits.

And who pays for this onslaught of new lawsuits and attorney payouts? The rest of us. The initiative would place an unmanageable burden on our health care delivery system at a time when many of our community health centers are already operating on razor thin margins and are faced with staffing shortages.

Taxpayers are on the hook as well. The state’s nonpartisan Legislative Analyst Office said the Fairness for Injured Patients Act “would likely have a wide variety of fiscal effects on state and local governments,” including “annual government costs likely ranging from the low tens of millions of dollars to the high hundreds of millions of dollars.”

The trickle-down effect of this measure would result in community clinics closing their doors, essential health services being slashed and health care providers having to limit new patients. The hardest impact will be felt by women, communities of color and individuals with special needs – all when we should be reducing health inequities and expanding access to health care for those who need it most.

That’s why hundreds of organizations have already signed up to oppose the Fairness for Injured Patients Act in November.

Clinicians, physicians, nurses, dentists, community clinics, health centers, hospitals, public safety organizations and other frontline health care workers across the state are urging voters to say “No” to this dangerous, costly measure.

Kerry Hydash is the president and CEO of the Family Healthcare Network, a Central Valley network. Hydash is the board chair for Central Valley Health Network, founder of Advocates for Community Health and serves on the board for the California Primary Care Association.

Local San Diego Groups Join Mounting Opposition to Trial Attorney Funded Measure and Urge “No” Vote Next November

Sacramento, CA – Local San Diego groups San Ysidro Health and San Diego County Medical Society have signed on in opposition to the so called “Fairness for Injured Patients Act,” an initiative that would raise healthcare costs and reduce access to care across the state. The groups join dozens of community clinics, doctors, nurses, dentists and more across the state in opposing this dangerous initiative.

“San Diego is home to some of the most innovative and advanced medical care our country has to offer,” said Kevin Mattson, President and Chief Executive Officer of San Ysidro Health. “But in San Diego, we also rely on a network of community health centers to ensure some of our most vulnerable populations have access to affordable healthcare. Many of these health centers are already operating on razor thin margins and a ballot measure like this, that would cost millions each year, could force clinics to reduce services or close their doors altogether.”

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.

“This measure will jeopardize healthcare for millions of Californians, especially those who rely on community health centers for their care,” Sergio Flores, M.D., President, San Diego County Medical Society. “Funders of this measure have kept secret the fact that attorneys stand to gain windfalls at the expense of patients, that essential safeguards built into our healthcare delivery system would be upended and that access to affordable healthcare would be obliterated. We must vote NO on this dangerous measure in 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.”

Local Central Valley Healthcare Organizations Join Mounting Opposition to Trial Attorney Funded Ballot Measure and Urge “No” Vote Next November

Fresno, CA – Today, local Central Valley healthcare organizations announced their opposition to the so-called “Fairness for Injured Patients Act,” a medical malpractice lawsuit measure on next year’s statewide ballot that could reverse regional health access gains by sharply increasing costs and reducing available care in underserved communities. The groups join more than 300 organizations in opposition, including community clinics, doctors, nurses, frontline workers and providers throughout California.

As written, the measure would effectively eliminate California’s medical lawsuit limits by creating a new and broadly defined category of malpractice lawsuits, resulting in new financial windfalls for trial attorneys, while costing the state and local communities hundreds of millions of dollars in increased health costs and increasing financial stress and provider shortages in communities, including many throughout the Central Valley. The initiative is funded primarily by a single, wealthy out-of-state trial lawyer who personally stands to be further enriched by its passage.

“FIPA would increase healthcare costs for patients and reduce access to care in our area,” said Dr. Alan G. Kelton, MD, past president of the Fresno Madera Medical Society, representing 1400 physicians across the two-county region. “We need more physicians for our health systems, and we cannot afford to lose providers through clinic closures and doctors moving out of state. That’s why I urge a NO vote on this dangerous measure.”

“Community clinics are the backbone of this region, helping to ensure our neediest patients have access to care,” said Paulo Soares, Chief Executive Officer of Camarena Health, a Madera County-based network of primary care providers and health centers, serving mostly lower-income and underserved patients, including agricultural workers. “We are already operating on razor thin margins and a measure like FIPA, which would cost our healthcare delivery system millions, forcing us to reduce services and possibly eliminate some care altogether. That’s why we are voting NO on this measure next year.”

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 about Californians to Protect Patients and Contain Health Care Costs, visit protectmicra.org.

As Hispanic Heritage Month Ends, Latinx Groups Urge “No” Vote on Trial Attorney Ballot Measure

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.

Opposition Mounts to Trial Attorney Funded Measure as Chinese American Physician Society and Philippine Medical Society of Northern California Endorse “No” Campaign

Sacramento, CA – In conjunction with Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the Chinese American Physician Society and the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California have signed on in opposition to the so called “Fairness for Injured Patients Act.” The groups join dozens of community clinics, doctors, nurses and others in opposing this dangerous initiative.

AAPI Heritage Month is a time to reflect and honor the work and sacrifices of our communities,” said Lawrence Cheung, MD, Chinese American physician based in San Francisco. “Despite thousands of reported incidents of harsh bullying targeting our AAPI community, our families and even front line AAPI medical workers over the last year, the Chinese American physician community has remained dedicated to treating our patients and ensuring that the most vulnerable among us have the care they need. This measure would put our patients in danger and jeopardize access for too many. I can’t think of a more powerful moment to stand in opposition to this ill-conceived initiative.”

The measure, funded primarily by a wealthy out-of-state trial attorney, will appear on the November 2022 ballot. The initiative 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.

“Our organization is dedicated to connecting elderly and indigent Filipino-Americans to important medical care,” said Thad Padua, MD, President of the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California. “This initiative would create even more barriers for our community to get critical care which is why we urge voters to say 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.