Understanding Props 45 and 46

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SAN DIEGO – The commercials seem to play on television around the clock, blurting opinions, spitting facts and trying to sway voters, but how much do local voters really know about propositions 45 and 46?

The language on the ballots can be tough to understand. Some voters said they did extra research before heading to the polls, while others said they left particular issues blank because they didn’t know how to vote. One woman said she doesn’t think the tricky language is a mistake.

“If there is an intention to take away our power and our freedoms, they’re going to be filled with deception,” the voter said.

Political analysts Richard Rider and Michelle Burton may not see eye to eye on many issues, but they both said the verbiage on ballots can be misleading, particularly with Proposition 46.

Proposition 46

Prop 46 requires drug testing of doctors and the review of a statewide prescription database before prescribing controlled substances. It also increases $250,000 pain/suffering cap in medical negligence lawsuits for inflation, moving the cap to $1.1 million.

“Prop 46 has the most misleading, dishonest and fraudulent title because it talks about testing doctors for drugs, that’s not what it’s about,” San Diego Tax Fighter Chairman Richard Rider said.

Opponents of Prop 46 argue that trial lawyers wrote Prop 46 to make millions from medical malpractice lawsuits.

Supporters argue Prop 46 saves lives because it prevents substance abuse by doctors and patients and holds negligent doctors accountable.

But many agree the two issues covered in Prop 46 are unrelated and call it sneaky to have them wrapped up in one ballot issue.

“If you vote no on this, you’re keeping the microcap at $250,000 and you’re saying, basically ‘no,’ to mandatory drug testing and checking of prescription drug databases,” attorney and Run Women Run President Michelle Burton said.

Proposition 45

Prop requires Insurance Commissioner’s approval before a health insurer can change its rates or anything else affecting the charges associated with health insurance. It would increase state administrative costs to regulate health insurance.

“Prop 45 is essentially the theory that 1 bureaucrat in California should be setting the rates for all of the health policies in California,” Rider said.

Voting yes on this measure means rates for individual and small group health insurance would need to be approved by the Insurance Commissioner before taking effect.

“If you check yes, you want the government to run your healthcare you want a state version of Obamacare with the state setting the prices,” Rider said.

Proponents of Prop 45 argue Californians are being overcharged for health insurance and the health insurance companies should be regulated just as auto insurance companies are. They argue it would save Californians millions of dollars.

Opponents argues that it is just a power grab by special interest groups to take control over health care benefits and rates from California’s successful new independent commission and give it to a Sacramento politician instead.

There are several voter resources online, including a voter almanac and a government-run sit with descriptions of each proposition.

4 comments

  • rowansmile

    I knew nothing about this issue until Rowan was killed during a “routine” outpatient diagnostic procedure, after San Diego doctors openly ignored our repeated pleas for his safety.
    In our case, my husband and I had the time, talent, and access to pro-bono medical researchers to present our case on the internet: a luxury that most bereaved parents don’t have..
    Even then, after ten months of presenting a solid case of gross negligence, we are still struggling to have the hospital admit fault. We have presented the expert opinions of both doctors and medical researchers, a 5,000 signature petition, and have worked tirelessly on seeking justice at a time when we are suffering in immense grief for our son, raising a small daughter, and trying to fulfill all of life’s other requirements. To this date, we have not been successful at obtaining an investigation by the Medical Board of California, the organization who ultimately has the power to hold our doctors’ accountable.
    I am against making our society more litigious, but parents have no where else to turn. These cases are ignored by those who oversee hospitals and are immune from our criminal justice system. Parents need to go somewhere for help and justice, not be left to fight institutions on their own, and sadly, the civil legal system is usually the only resource available to them.
    Now that I am more informed, I realize that the current cap in California does not even cover the cost to the lawyers to try a case, and because of this, cases for children are often simply not tried. I truly wish there was another alternative to find justice, but there doesn’t seem to be.
    I don’t care how voters decide on this issue tomorrow, but I do hope that people take the time to become educated. The issue is much more complicated than this simple proposition. My hope is that some kind of change is made to allow families to seek justice for their children.
    No one in our society should be able to act without accountability. Especially those who are responsible for our children’s lives.
    My daughter asks, “Mommy, did the doctors say they are sorry?” How does a parent then say, “No, because they don’t have to.” Our story: http://www.rowansmile.me

  • Roger Stafford

    Why does your article first discuss prop 46 then prop 45?

    What does your station stand to gain by intentionally tricking and confusing your readers?

  • Mirandarama

    I just said the exact words about Prop 46, the issues are UNRELATED! I would have voted YES if it was for controlled substance prescription accountability ONLY! As for 45, I am more confused. Clearly, ALL health insurance in California is overpriced, not just individual and small business. We’re forced to pay for care that doesn’t necessarily cover the specific needs of our families and end up paying out of pocket for what we really want with what we can scrap together. Yet, there are clearly limitations to the YES on this one, no matter how good they make it sound. I’m not against price control, but I am against a politician controlling my healthcare. It’s bad enough that it is already controlled by an insurance company. Why can’t we just pay out of pocket for a cafeteria plan and get some catastrophic for a reasonable price? Why do we have to carry an overpriced policy to be able to qualify for a health savings account? This country is going to shit! You can’t even vote for what you want because our choices are full of sneaky methods to steer out decisions away from our basic rights. The comment “Don’t complain if you don’t vote” can’t even really apply any more. We’re presented with choices that force us to say No to something we want to say Yes to and Yes to something we want to say No to – just to preserve our basic rights. Sadly, too many people will give up their basic rights and throw health practitioners under the bus for a well worded initiative that was not written to benefit the public, just to deceive them.

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