Sacramento, CA – Two powerful labor groups, the California Teamsters Public Affairs Council and the California Conference Board–Amalgamated Transit Union, have joined the growing list of organizations and individuals that support Proposition 46, the patient safety initiative on California’s Nov. 4 ballot.
“Patient safety is a critical issue for union members as it is for all Californians,” said Proposition 46 proponent Bob Pack. “Prop 46 will ensure a safer healthcare environment for us all. It will save lives."
Today’s endorsements add to a growing coalition of Prop 46 supporters, including California Senator Barbara Boxer, Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Consumer Federation of California, Congress of California Seniors, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Candace Lightner, environmental health advocate Erin Brockovich, actor and patient safety advocate Dennis Quaid, health care professionals and victims of medical negligence.
Proposition 46, the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act, would:
• Promote deterrence to patient harm and promote justice for victims of harm by adjusting the state’s cap on malpractice damages to account for more than 38 years of inflation, giving the cap the same value it had when it took effect in 1975, while maintaining the existing cap on attorneys’ fees;
• Require physicians check the state’s existing prescription drug database before prescribing certain addictive drugs to first-time patients, in order to curb doctor-shopping drug abusers;
• Require random drug and alcohol testing of doctors with admitting privileges at California hospitals, to protect patients from being treated by impaired physicians.
The latest endorsement comes just days after the California Legislative Analyst Office released a fiscal impact report saying Prop 46 could result in “potentially significant” savings for state and local governments related to prescription drug monitoring as well as alcohol and drug testing of physicians.
“Simply cutting unnecessary Medi-Cal prescriptions and the public safety costs caused by prescription drug abuse could save state and local governments more than $400 million a year,” Pack said. “Prop 46 will not only save lives – it will save taxpayer dollars.”
Bob Pack is the father of Troy and Alana Pack, who were 10 and 7 years old when they were killed by a drunk and drugged doctor-shopping driver who had been overprescribed thousands of pills from Kaiser physicians.
Medical negligence is the third leading cause of death in the United States, according to a study in the Journal of Patient Safety that estimated up to 440,000 people die each year because of preventable medical errors. The Medical Board of California reported that experts estimate nearly one in five doctors will abuse drugs or alcohol during their lifetimes. Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990 and most of those deaths are due to prescription drugs.
Opponents of Proposition 46’s patient safety provisions, mostly hospitals and large insurance companies, have already raised more than $41 million for its defeat.
Learn more about Proposition 46 at www.YesOn46.org
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.