Prop 46: Drug and Alcohol Testing of Doctors. Medical Negligence Lawsuits

Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

32.9% YES
67.1% NO

Summary

Requires drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting of positive test to the California Medical Board. Requires Board to suspend doctor pending investigation of positive test and take disciplinary action if doctor was impaired while on duty. Requires health care practitioners to report any doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence. Requires health care practitioners to consult state prescription drug history database before prescribing certain controlled substances. Increases $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in medical negligence lawsuits to account for inflation. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local government: State and local government costs associated with higher medical malpractice costs, likely at least in the low tens of millions of dollars annually, potentially ranging to over one hundred million dollars annually. Potential state and local government costs associated with changes in the amount and types of health care services that, while highly uncertain, potentially range from relatively minor to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

What Your Vote Means

A YES Means The cap on medical malpractice damages for such things as pain and suffering would be increased from $250,000 to $1.1 million and adjusted annually for future inflation. Health care providers would be required to check a statewide prescription drug database before prescribing or dispensing certain drugs to a patient for the first time. Hospitals would be required to test certain physicians for alcohol and drugs.
A NO Means The cap on medical malpractice damages for such things as pain and suffering would remain at $250,000 and not be subject to annual inflation adjustments. Health care providers would not be required to check a statewide prescription database before prescribing or dispensing drugs. Hospitals would not be required to test physicians for alcohol and drugs.

Arguments

PRO 46 saves lives. It prevents substance abuse by doctors and patients and holds negligent doctors accountable. Estimates show 18% of health professionals have an abuse problem in their lifetimes. Medical negligence is this country's third largest cause of death. Prescription drug overdoses are epidemic. A cure is overdue. Vote Yes.
CON Trial lawyers wrote Prop 46 to make millions from medical malpractice lawsuits. We will pay, and could lose our trusted doctors ? as many doctors and specialists are forced to leave California, moving to states with more affordable medical-liability insurance. Protect your wallet and access to healthcare. No on 46.
Prop 45
Prop 47