California voters will decide on a new ballot measure in November. The “Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act” seeks to increase caps on medical malpractice cases and institute random drug and alcohol testing of health-care providers, with mandatory testing for physicians who have made preventable medical errors.
A series of television and radio ads started airing in California, sponsored by opponents of the initiative. The 30-second television commercial and the one-minute radio spot accuse trial attorneys of looking out for their own interests by pushing the ballot measure, claiming that attorneys will make more money from higher medical malpractice awards.
Supporters of the ballot, including Consumer Watchdog, fired back, questioning why providers don’t want to be as “accountable for impairment and their errors as other professions.”
Opponents of the measure, primarily medical malpractice insurance companies and state medical associations, have raised over $36 million to fight the ballot proposal. Supporters, mainly trial attorneys, have raised $2.3 million. The fight is likely to heat up as Election Day approaches.