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.

FOX 5 Voter Guide

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