Drug tests for students and potential employees are becoming the norm. But what if doctors had to take them too? Californians might get a chance to vote on that.
Just outside the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim a little musical refrain could be heard this afternoon – a 30 second loop of "Pee in a Cup," – blasting from a truck – aimed at the ears of doctors attending the California Medical Association's quarterly Board of Trustees meeting. It sounds like a joke, but there's a serious message behind the musical clip. It has to do with patients, lawyers and drugs.
Trial lawyers in California are lobbying the Legislature to lift the $250,000 cap on pain and suffering damages in malpractice lawsuits. That cap has been in place for 38 years, and plaintiffs' attorneys say it's so low that patients who feel they've been wronged have a hard time finding a lawyer. In addition to raising the cap, the lawyers also want doctors who practice in hospitals and surgery centers to raise a cup — and take mandatory drug and alcohol tests.
Consumer Watchdog, the Santa Monica-based group headed by Jamie Court, has drafted a ballot measure that would mandate physician drug testing as well as hike payouts for pain and suffering. The California Medical Association, the California Hospital Association and business and insurance groups are opposed to the measure, saying that it will encourage more lawsuits and raise the cost of medical care throughout the state.
This is the short, funny musical video, "Pee In The Cup," that will be circulating around Disneyland and will be played from a truck that will circle a convention in Anaheim, where the California Medical Association is convening.