Proposed changes to MICRA increase health care costs, harm patients
Shannon Smith-Crowley, JD, MHA, District IX director of government relations
On May 2, a coalition of consumer groups and trial lawyers announced plans to overturn the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) through a ballot initiative if no legislative action is taken to increase the act’s noneconomic damages cap.
Trial lawyers want to quadruple the noneconomic damages cap, which would significantly increase health care costs for patients and operating costs for providers, hospitals, and community clinics that are already struggling to keep their doors open. At a time when California is working hard to implement federal health care reform and provide increased access to health care for all Californians, changes to MICRA would be the worst possible overreach at the worst possible time.
The coalition has until September to submit a proposed initiative to qualify for the November 2014 general election ballot. There is no language for a bill or ballot initiative at this point.
District IX continues to work with Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP), a coalition committed to protecting access to health care through MICRA, to prevent any changes to MICRA’s provisions.