Capitol Weekly Podcast: Surprise MICRA compromise!

A doctor and a lawyer shake hands, an illustration of the MICRA compromise. (Photo: FocusStalker, via Shutterstock)

MICRA, the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, limits non-economic damages for medical malpractice lawsuits to $250,000. Signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 1975, the act has been targeted for reform for decades. Attempts to raise the cap have been made at the legislative level, and by Ballot Initiative. The most recent attempt to raise the cap via the ballot was Proposition 46, which failed by double digits in 2014.

A new Ballot measure to revise the cap was on track to appear on this year’s ballot until last week when legislative leaders and advocates from both sides announced that a deal had been reached.

That deal is AB 35, sponsored by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes and Sen. Tom Umberg. According to Capitol Weekly’s Chuck McFadden, “the bill — which is supported by Gov. Gavin Newsom — would boost the MICRA limit to $350,000, increasing to $750,000 over 10 years. It also expands the law to include actions for injuries against health care institutions.”

We spoke with Sen. Umberg about AB 35, and also asked him about some confusing Redistricting news from Orange County. And, as always, we tell you who had the Worst Week in California Politics.

Episode Notes

:25 The background

3:30 This has been tried many times before. What was different this time?

7:30 The MICRA compromise

11:48 Will this raise insurance costs?

15:38 What is the likelihood that this becomes law?

16:12 Let’s talk Redistricting: A letter to the Attorney General

21:57 Who makes the final call?

25:57 #WWCA

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