Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Proponent of Prop 46 Calls on California Medical Association to Pull Ad the Sacramento Bee Called an “Outright Lie”

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DANVILLE, CA – Bob Pack, proponent of Proposition 46 who lost his two children to medical negligence, called on the California Medical Association to pull their latest ad – called an “outright lie” yesterday by the Sacramento Bee – from the airwaves.

The ad falsely tries to scare voters that Prop 46 would make patient data vulnerable to hackers and identity thieves. Three newspapers, the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, and the San Jose Mercury News have slammed the ad as being “jaw-droppingly deceptive,” “so misleading that it falls into the whopper category,” and “shamelessly deceptive.”

Read the letter here:

“I have spent a decade of my life working to improve patient safety in California, building the CURES prescription drug database as a life-saving tool so no other family has to go through the tragedy mine did,” wrote Pack. “It is galling to me, and to the memory of my children, to be bombarded with these mistruths about a database that is secure, fully-funded, and has never been breached. Dr. Thorp, California patients and voters deserve better. Denounce this ad’s lies and remove it from the air immediately.”

The Los Angeles Times called the No on Prop 46 ad “jaw-droppingly deceptive,” “baloney,” and said that “practically everything it wants voters to believe about the measure is wrong.” The Times wrote that “Opponents are also trying to persuade voters that the measure would expose their personal health to more prying eyes. But that is, in a word, baloney. Proposition 46 increases the risk of medical data being hacked to the same degree that building a snowman increases the risk of low temperatures.”

Read the LA Times analysis here:

The Sacramento Bee gave the ad its worst ranking as an “outright lie,” stating that the ad “is so misleading that it falls into the whopper category” and that the opposition “distort[s] reality.” The Bee also emphasized that the California Medical Association supported the CURES database but now is against it with false accusations about funding and security.

Read the Sacramento Bee analysis here:

The San Jose Mercury News called the ad “shamelessly deceptive” and highlighted the fact that a data breach cited in the ad had nothing to do with California’s CURES database; instead, as the Mercury News pointed out, the breach occurred from a medical network which has given $340,000 to groups opposing Proposition 46.

Read the San Jose Mercury News analysis here:

Bob Pack lost his two children, Troy, 10, and 7-year-old Alana, to a drunk and drugged driver who had doctor-shopped thousands of pills from multiple doctors at the same Kaiser hospital who never verified she had an injury.

Proposition 46, also known as the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, will:

•    Enact the first law in the nation to require random drug and alcohol tests of physicians in hospitals, modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration testing program that has successfully reduced substance abuse by pilots;

•    Require the Board to suspend a doctor and investigate a confirmed positive drug or alcohol test and take disciplinary action if the doctor was impaired while on duty;

•    Mandate that prescribers check California’s existing statewide prescription drug database known as CURES when prescribing to first-time patients, in order to curb doctor-shopping and end the prescription drug epidemic;

•    Promote justice for patients and legal deterrence to wrongdoing by adjusting California’s cap on compensation for victims of medical negligence to account for 39 years of inflation – the unadjusted cap prevents many victims from holding doctors who harm them accountable.

Learn more about Proposition 46 and the campaign for patient safety at:

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Paid for by Yes on Prop. 46, Your Neighbors for Patient Safety, a Coalition of Consumer Attorneys and Patient Safety Advocates – major funding by Consumer Attorneys of California Issues and Initiative Defense Political Action Committees and Kabateck, Brown, Kellner, LLP.

Carmen Balber
Carmen Balber
Consumer Watchdog executive director Carmen Balber has been with the organization for nearly two decades. She spent four years directing the group’s Washington, D.C. office where she advocated for key health insurance market reforms that were ultimately enacted into law as part of the Affordable Care Act.

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