CSA Grass Roots Activism in Action

by
  • Yost, Paul, MD
| Oct 07, 2012

On August 28, 2012, three days before the end of the 2012 California legislative session, we received word that the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC, kind of like KAOS to Maxwell Smart) was attempting to change California’s Landmark Medical Malpractice Law MICRA. This change could have tripled your medical malpractice insurance rates!

As a refresher, MICRA is the California Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, which limits medical malpractice pain and suffering payments to $250,000.00. MICRA does not limit payments for medical costs, future medical costs, nor loss of income. By limiting payments for pain and suffering, MICRA keeps medical malpractice payments for California physicians reasonable. Affordable malpractice insurance rates keep physicians practicing in California and help maintain access to care for California patients. Prior to the passage of MICRA, California medical malpractice rates were skyrocketing and physicians were leaving the state in droves. Since the passage of MICRA in California, other states have enacted similar legislation with similar results: physicians entering the state instead of leaving and access to care improving.

Back to the most recent challenge to MICRA. Our very capable lobbyists, William Barnaby Sr., Esq. and William Barnaby Jr., Esq. informed us of the last minute language change to SB 1528. We immediately drafted talking points, vetted the issue and talking points through the CMA and house of medicine, and within hours we posted the legislative action alert to the CSA Grassroots Network. We reached out to the Society’s entire membership by email, and over the next 36 hours, CSA members had delivered more than 350 individual advocacy messages to California legislators!! On August 31, under tremendous pressure from the advocacy efforts of many people, including the CSA, SB 1528 failed on third reading before the California Assembly. See the roll call vote below to see how your legislator voted (or didn’t vote).

08/31/12

(FAIL)

Assembly Floor

13

43

24

SB 1528 Steinberg Senate Third Reading By WIECKOWSKI

 

Ayes:

Ammiano, Blumenfield, Brownley, Butler, Cedillo, Dickinson, Eng, Feuer, Gatto, Monning, Swanson, Wieckowski, John A. Pérez

Noes:

Achadjian, Beall, Bill Berryhill, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Donnelly, Fletcher, Fuentes, Beth Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gorell, Grove, Hagman, Halderman, Harkey, Hayashi, Hill, Huber, Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Logue, Mansoor, Mendoza, Miller, Morrell, Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Silva, Smyth, Solorio, Torres, Valadao, Wagner, Yamada

No Votes Recorded:

Alejo, Allen Atkins, Block, Bonilla, Bradford, Buchanan, Charles Calderon, Campos, Davis, Fong, Furutani, Gordon, Hall, Roger Hernández, Hueso, Huffman, Lara, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, Mitchell, Portantino, Skinner, Williams

For all of you who responded to the most recent CSA Grassroots Action alert, THANK YOU!! Your action made a difference! For those of you who would like to make a difference in the future, please visit the CSA Grassroots Network at and sign up for the “Action E-List” to receive action alerts. Responding to an action alert is very easy and usually takes only a few minutes. While you are visiting the CSA Grassroots Network, take a look around, enter your zip code and find out about your local elected representative, and the location of the their district office. Take a moment to look at the myriad of health care related bills being followed by the CSA, the status of the bills and our position on the legislation.

Together, we are stronger!

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