SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – Californians have voted not to inflate the cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Proposition 46, a ballot measure aimed at increasing the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act’s current cap of $250,000, failed to receive even 33 percent of the vote.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, 67.1 percent of voters voted against the initiative.

The measure, in addition to inflating the MICRA cap to $1.1 million, also called for a prescription drug database and the mandatory drug testing of physicians.

The battle over Prop 46 cost tens of millions of dollars, with trial lawyers primarily supporting the measure and the medical community rallying against the increase.

Proponents of Prop 46 argued the cap hadn’t been adjusted for 38 years of inflation, while opponents maintain passing the initiative would have raised health care costs in the state.

An assessment from the California Legislative Analyst Office estimated increased government health care from raising the cap on med-mal damages, likely ranging from the tens of millions of dollars to several hundred million dollars annually.

The landmark act was signed into law in 1975 and has become a model adopted by several states.

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