Early polling conducted by CMA suggests that the public trust garnered by physicians will be a large asset in the coming fight on the attacks on California’s Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA).

When asked their impression of their doctor and community clinic, 91 percent and 70 percent of respective poll responders noted they held a “favorable” impression. Meanwhile, nearly 40 percent of those responding said they held an “unfavorable” position of trial lawyers. These statistics are encouraging, but in the coming weeks, much more will be done to ensure MICRA is not compromised.

The California Medical Association (CMA) is currently undertaking an aggressive letter-drop campaign in the Capitol, blanketing the offices of newly returning legislators with the facts about MICRA to prevent an eleventh-hour effort to raise the cap legislatively in the final five weeks of session.

Should MICRA be altered, it would severely limit access to care of millions of patients across the state. The CMA is ready to meet the challenge of anti-MICRA proponents, and once again, will defeat this effort to overturn MICRA. In the coming weeks, however, a good deal of misinformation is likely to be distributed by MICRA opponents and CMA would like its members to know exactly what is at stake in this fight.

As proposed, the initiative being put forward by Consumer Watchdog would retroactively adjust MICRA’s current $250,000 cap on non-economic damages to reflect inflation based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from the year MICRA’s enabling legislation was passed. This action would raise MICRA’s cap to roughly $1.2 million and allow for further increases based on the CPI going forward.

The initiative also includes a variety of provisions relating to physician drug testing and prescription drugs, but the primary motivation is to lift MICRA’s cap and give California’s trial attorneys access to the massive jury awards they have sought for almost four decades.

As mentioned earlier, CMA will be successful in this fight, but victory will not come overnight, and we will need your help.

As a CMA member, you will be kept in the loop with the latest developments on the MICRA fight through regularly scheduled updates such as this. Until then, the ACCMA and CMA ask that you visit www.cmanet.org/micra for more information about the coming threats, as well as how to donate and help protect California’s historic malpractice protections.

We will emerge from this threat stronger than before, but we cannot do so alone.

CLICK HERE to defend your ability to practice in California.

For more information on MICRA and how you can help, visit www.accma.org/advocacy/micra; www.cmanet.org/micra, or www.micra.org.