UAPD/AFSCME Announces Opposition to MICRA Measure

Attorneys gain most from measure, at the expense of consumers

Mar 28, 2014, 11:09 ET from Union of American Physicians and Dentists

OAKLAND, Calif., March 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (AFSCME Local 206) has registered its opposition to a ballot initiative that would raise the cap on non-economic damages in malpractice cases to 1.1 million dollars. According to UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey, the MICRA measure would limit access to medical care in low-income and rural communities by driving up malpractice insurance premiums, thus making it economically prohibitive for doctors to work. For this reason, California workers at the AFSCME political convention recently voted to oppose the initiative if it reaches the ballot in November. 

"Labor traditionally stands on the side of consumer protection. However, the protections in this measure are weighted toward trial attorneys, not consumers.  The initiative will hurt California's most vulnerable people – low income families and children – by making it harder for them to find health care providers close to where they live." stated Bussey. "According to a study by California's former Legislative Analyst, this measure would increase health care costs by $9.9 billion annually. For this reason, consumer-focused healthcare organizations like Planned Parenthood and California Association of Rural Health Clinics join UAPD and AFSCME in opposition to the MICRA measure."

UAPD does continue to support CURES (Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System),a database utilized to prevent inappropriate dispensing of addictive drugs and identify "doctor shopping" by addicts.

"Tying CURES - a valuable consumer protection that is already in place - to this measure simply disguises its true intent as a mechanism to make malpractice lawsuits more lucrative for trial lawyers," added Bussey.

Founded in 1972, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists represents thousands of working doctors, including those employed by the State of California, the University of California and California State University student health centers, and many California counties.

SOURCE Union of American Physicians and Dentists