Well, they’ve done it. The trial lawyers have turned in 840,000 signatures to qualify an initiative for the November ballot that would make it easier and more profitable for lawyers to sue doctors and hospitals. While they’ll say many things in the months between now and the election, it is important to remember that this initiative is about one thing: trial lawyers wanting more money.
And where will that money come from? A recent Wall Street Journal editorial makes it clear: “Patients will ultimately bear this cost.”
The proof is in the pudding. A January 2014 study found that an increase in the current cap on non-economic damages would greatly increase the cost of health care in California by a whopping $9.9 billion. For a four-person household, that equates to $1,000 in additional health care costs.
Further, the study found that three groups in particular would bear the burden of these costs: consumers, employees, and taxpayers. Consumers will face higher health care costs. Employees will see a reduction in benefits from employee-sponsored insurance that will cost them more. And taxpayers will be on the hook for as much as $2 billion more in costs each year as state and local governments encounter higher health care costs.
Guess who profits from all these lawsuits? The trial lawyers, who are already licking their chops dreaming of the fat paychecks this initiative would generate.
When this initiative reaches the ballot, I encourage every Californian to vote ‘NO’ – and encourage your friends and family to vote against it as well. California has been named the worst ‘Judicial Hellhole’ in the nation for two years in a row. It’s painfully clear that what we need is more jobs, not more lawsuits.