Poll Shows Early Support for Trial Lawyer Initiatives

Early polling data shows strong public support for two initiatives backed by trial lawyers, according to data from the Field Poll. Nearly 70 percent of registered voters said they would support Proposition 45, which would expand the role of the insurance commissioner to regulate healthcare insurance rates, and 58 percent would support Proposition 46, which would increase the sums that personal injury lawyers could obtain from suing doctors.

This week, the first major campaign advertisement aired against Proposition 46. Both sides have raised considerable amounts of campaign funds, and the Proposition 46 battle between health care providers and trial lawyers is expected to be one of the costliest of the year.

On August 21, Covered California, the state’s health exchange implementing the federal Affordable Health Care Act, issued a statement announcing its opposition to Proposition 45. Susan Kennedy, a Covered California board member and former chief of staff to Governors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gray Davis, said: “Even if you believe that rate regulation is the right thing to do, now is not the right time to make the job we are in the middle of any harder. I think it’s very important that we state clearly that we think that there are problems with enacting an initiative like this at this point in time.”

August 22, 2014

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