The trial attorneys have re-filed their proposed anti-MICRA ballot initiative with the Attorney General’s Office, a political maneuver that will buy them more time to try to navigate around the organized opposition to their proposal. Changes to the initiative are relatively minor but by re-filing, the initiative timeline is restarted. Specific changes to the language include limiting mandatory reporting of physician impairment and standard of care violations to physicians only, rather than all 137 categories of “health care practitioner” as defined in the original version. Additional changes were made to the provision on attorney fees to make the initiative appear less self-serving.

As proposed, the initiative would raise the Malpractice Injury Compensation Reform Act’s (MICRA) 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.

Trial lawyers have also been swarming the Capitol hoping to find someone willing to run a last-minute bill that would scuttle the protections offered by MICRA. Fortunately, because of the efforts of physicians like you, they’re getting nowhere. Regardless of what the trial attorney’s do next, CMA and its many coalition allies that are working to defend MICRA will be ready to meet them head on and ensure that your practice, as well as the care offered to your patients, is not threatened by this misguided effort.

Click here for more information about MICRA and what you can do to help in the fight, or visit the MICRA page at www.accma.org by clicking on the "Advocacy" tab and selecting "MICRA."