9/30/2014, Prop. 46, Inspired By Tragedy, Pits Doctors Against Lawyers

http://blogs.kqed.org/stateofhealth/2014/09/30/prop-46-was-inspired-by-tragic-accident-pits-doctors-against-lawyers/

After passing similar laws, both Tennessee and New York saw a significant reduction in the number of narcotics prescriptions written. Studies have verified the correlation, but acknowledge that some of the reduction may be due to drug abusers turning to alternative sources or street drugs, like heroin…

A study from Emory University shows that medical malpractice caps limit access to legal representation for up to 95 percent of victims. Children, the elderly and other people with no or very low incomes who cannot claim economic damages are the most affected…

In a review of studies from the 1970s to the early 2000s, researchers writing for the Milbank Quarterly found that damage caps do reduce malpractice insurance premiums, but to what degree is a matter of debate, with study results ranging from 6 to 25 percent.

No evidence was found that this savings gets passed on to consumers in the form of lower health insurance premiums, partly because malpractice insurance constitutes such a small percentage – less than 2 – of overall health care costs.

Mandates Drug & Alcohol Testing for Doctors

This has been the centerpiece of the “Yes on Prop. 46″ campaign, inspiring campy ads of airline pilots and police officers dancing through the stalls of a public restroom.

“All…of…the….pilots do it. Astronauts do it. Even the school bus drivers do it,” the ad goes. “Let’s do it. Let’s pee in a cup.”

Adding doctors to that list seemed like an easy sell. Early polls indicated voters strongly favored the idea -– many thought it was already law. In fact, if Prop. 46 passes, California would be the first state in the country to require drug testing of doctors…

Studies of workplace drug testing programs are actually inconclusive on whether testing deters employee drug use or reduces workplace accidents. A review of 23 studies in the upcoming issue of Accident Analysis and Prevention concluded: “The evidence base for the effectiveness of testing in improving workplace safety is at best tenuous.”

http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_26866635/propositions-45-and-46-losing-early-returns

11/4/2014, California voters reject Propositions 45, 46, 48; pass 47

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/californias-complicated-proposition-46-explained

Drugs, Doctors, and Death Threats: Inside the Battle Over California’s Prop. 46

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