By Victoria Collver, POLITICO PRO

July 22, 2020

2022 WATCH: An initiative to raise the 45-year-old cap on medical malpractice compensation for injured patients has qualified for the ballot — but voters will have to wait until the November 2022 ballot to vote on it, POLITICO’s Victoria Colliver reports.

Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Tuesday evening confirmed that the measure, which would adjust for inflation the $250,000 compensation cap set by the Legislature in 1975 for quality-of-life and wrongful death damages, had exceeded the projected of at least 685,534 projected valid signatures it needed by random sampling to become eligible for the ballot.

But proponents for the measure — spearheaded by Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog — decided back on April 30 to pull the initiative from the November 2020 ballot. They cited the Covid-19 pandemic as reason for the two-year delay, even though they were sure they had already gathered enough signatures to qualify.

While supporters claimed the pandemic would hinder the public’s ability to focus on the medical insurance accountability issue, the opposition, led by the California Medical Association, was poised to argue during a public health crisis that raising the cap would hurt access to care.