Consumer Watchdog Campaign: Senator Boxer Joins Victims of Medical Negligence and Families Who Lost Children To Negligence To Call For Voters’ Support For Prop 46

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Los Angeles, CA – Today U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer stood with victims of medical negligence and families who lost their children to preventable medical error and called on California voters to support the patient safety protections in Proposition 46. Consumer Watchdog released the first Yes on 46 Spanish campaign advertisement, featuring Carmen Pack, wife of the proponent of Prop 46 who lost her two children to medical negligence. 

The ad exposes the medical malpractice insurance companies that have spent over $40 million on a deceptive ad campaign against Prop 46, which newspapers across the state have condemned as “shamelessly deceptive” (San Jose Mercury News, “baloney” (Los Angeles Times) and “an outright lie” (Sacramento Bee).

Watch the ad here:

“I am so sick of the lies the insurance companies are telling about this,” Senator Boxer said. “Insurance companies, you are lying through your teeth and making up stories to scare people into voting no on Prop 46 when it is in their best interest to vote yes.”

In the ad, Carmen Pack warns voters about this deception. In Spanish:

“Las companies de seguros han gastado millones en atacar la proposition 46. Vean lo que los periodicos dicen. Sera que las companias de seguros no tienen sentido de decencia? Ennumerables padres han perdido hijos por errors medicos que se pueden evitar.  Yo lo se. Yo perdia me dos hijos. Esto es la proposicion 46. Salvar vidas. Que bueno seria que las companias de seguros gastaron sus millones en salvar vidas y no en atacarnos. Por favor. Vote si por la proposicion 46.”

In English:

“Insurance companies have spent more than $40 million dollars on misleading ads attacking Proposition 46. Look at what the newspapers say. Have insurance companies no sense of decency? Countless parents have lost their children because of preventable medical errors. I know, I lost my two children. That's what Prop 46 is about: saving lives. Wouldn't it be nice if insurance companies spent millions saving people rather than attacking us? Please, vote yes on 46.”

Proposition 46 will deter negligence and hold dangerous and impaired doctors accountable by implementing random drug and alcohol testing for doctors, requiring doctors to check a prescription drug database before prescribing narcotics to a first-time patient, and by indexing for inflation the state’s 38-year-old cap on malpractice damages.

Senator Boxer was joined by Carmen Pack, whose husband Bob Pack is the author of Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act. The Packs lost their two children Troy, 10, and Alana, 7, when they were killed by a drugged driver high on prescription drugs she had doctor-shopped from multiple negligent Kaiser physicians. Carmen Pack explained how her family was denied access to justice under the law because the value of their children's lives under the law has been capped at $250,000 since 1975 and never updated for inflation.

Senator Boxer was also joined by Annette Ramirez, a South Bay mother of two who lost her arms and her legs to medical negligence caused by a massive, preventable infection after surgery. In the months since, Annette has been in hospitals continuously. She has undergone more than 100 subsequent surgeries or skin grafts. Her family has watched helplessly as she experienced several near death events. More of Annette’s story can be found in this video:

Michele Monserratt-Ramos also spoke of the loss of her fiancée to a physician with a history of drug problems. Lloyd Monserratt, a rising young Latino politician, died needlessly at age 36. During gastric bypass surgery his colon was perforated and infection raged through his body. Another surgery to fix this error would have saved him. But no one at the hospital noticed or acted, instead just increasing his pain medication until his internal organs failed. His fiancée later found the surgeon had a record of arrests, including for crack cocaine possession.

Proposition 46 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 suspension of a doctor found to have been impaired on the job;

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

•    And, Promote justice for patients and legal deterrence to wrongdoing by adjusting California’s cap on compensation for victims of medical negligence to account for 38 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 Robinson Calcagnie Robinson Shapiro Davis, Inc.

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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