12. Dustin Corcoran
Dustin Corcoran is a regular on our roster, and for good reason: He’s the CEO of the California Medical Association, many of whose nearly 50,000 members are out on the front lines treating victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CMA is a potent force in the Capitol – either through lobbying or campaign spending, or both – and this year is no exception. Two major political issues drew CMA’s immediate opposition. One, a ballot measure backed by organized labor, seeks to increase medical staffing at dialysis clinics. The other, also a potential ballot measure, but pushed off until 2022, is supported by the doctors’ traditional enemies, the attorneys. It would increase payments for noneconomic damages in malpractice suits under the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, or MICRA. Those payments, set in the original 1975 law, are capped at $250,000 and immediately drew lawyers’ fire. The fight over MICRA is one of the longest-running political fights in California between doctors and lawyers, with both sides spending a lot of money. Corcoran has been the CMA’s top executive officer for more than a decade and joined the association in 1998.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020