People in my area know the Pack Family story (which is behind this Proposition.) It was indeed a tragic situation.
BUT, the way Prop 46 is written, it will NOT prevent what happened to Troy and Alana Pack from happening again.
It will be difficult for people to separate the personal connection to the Pack Family with how the Prop is actually written, and thus, what the actual impact would be. But, I urge people to really look at the consequences this proposition would have should it pass.
The desire to improve patient safety is commendable, but the proposed ways of doing so are not feasible. The consequences of Prop 46 will actually make it more difficult for people to access safe and affordable healthcare, and may put our personal information at risk, too.
Prescription Database: While on the surface it seems logical to check to see whether someone has an open prescription elsewhere, people who abuse drugs have other ways to obtain them. The database used for this "check" is outdated (so patients may have a delay in obtaining necessary medications) and must be accessed via computer. Not all medical offices have the necessary technology to comply. The database contains highly sensitive, personal and potentially stigmatizing details about a person's health. This ballot measure provides no funding to improve functionality or security, and contains no security standards to protect patient information.
Raising the Medical Liability Cap: If doctors' malpractice insurance costs rise, then many physicians will go out of business. Many of the "small town" doctors are those who are needed the most, and yet will be the least likely to be able to sustain this increase in mandatory insurance. Patients are already entitled to unlimited economic damages for medical costs, lost wages, and lifetime earning potential. Patients are also already entitled to unlimited punitive damage (punishment awarded for malicious or willful misconduct.) Patients are currently entitled up to $250k for "non-economic" (pain and suffering) damages; there is no reason to increase this cap given that the other damages are unlimited, and raising the cap will put medical organizations out of business.
Drug-testing Doctors: This is yet another aspect of the Prop that appears on the surface to be a good idea, but in practice is nonsensical. Prop 46 would require physicians to be drug-tested within 12 hours of an "adverse event." One problem is that an "adverse event" can occur at any time, even when the doctor is off duty. For a complicated birth, per Section 1279.1 of the Health and Safety code, any reaction up to 18 years of age is considered an "adverse event." In other words, if a child who at age 14 suffers an injury that is related to a birth condition, the physician who delivered that child 14 years ago must be drug-tested within 12 hours of the current event.
Patient safety is important - which is exactly why I'm voting NO on Prop 46. Because, although Prop 46 on the surface appears to benefit patients, in reality it will harm them by decreasing access to healthcare, delaying the time it takes to obtain medication, and potentially compromising the security of our personal medical history.
Please visit http://www.noon46.com/ for more information.
In July, I attended a luncheon during which I learned more about No on 46. They paid for my lunch, but that is not the same as paying for my vote.