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Californians reject med mal proposition; AIA urges TRIA action

Posted On: Nov. 5, 2014 12:00 AM CST

California voters on Tuesday decisively rejected a ballot measure that called for repealing the state’s current cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases.

Proposition 46 would have, among other things, overturned the current $250,000 cap first imposed by the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975, increasing it to $1.1 million and then indexing annually based on inflation. Opponents of the measure had held it would increase medical professional liability rates. But Golden State voters rejected the measure by a margin of 67.1% to 32.9%.

In another risk management-related electoral development, the president and CEO of the Washington-based American Insurance Association urged Congress to move swiftly in the lame-duck slated to begin next week to reauthorize the federal terrorism insurance backstop program.

The program, first created by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002, will expire on Dec. 31 if Congress does not act.

“Yesterday’s election results will undoubtedly lead to a new set of priorities in the next Congress, but the fact remains that the current Congress has unfinished business — the long-term reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, or TRIA,” said Leigh Ann Pusey in a statement issued Wednesday.

“The goal of TRIA is to ensure that an orderly economic recovery would follow any major terrorist act,” said Ms. Pusey. “The American Insurance Association strongly supports lawmakers on both sides of the aisle working to reauthorize this vital program before it expires at year-end.”