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California AB 72 is Anti-patient, Anti-physician, and Legally Flawed; Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) Asks Governor for Veto

TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 06, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- AB 72, the measure promoted misleadingly as a means to end “surprise medical bills,” would have a “devastating effect on the availability of life-saving medical care to the people of California,” write members of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) in the group’s second letter asking California Governor Jerry Brown to veto the flawed measure.

The letter seeks to inform Governor Brown of the strong legal and policy arguments that weigh heavily against this bill:

“This legislation prevents a physician from obtaining adjustments in the rates that may be necessary for the physician to stay in practice, or to obtain a reasonable fee for the services he provides…. The victims of these price controls have no procedure for challenging the rates, other than a one-by-one piecemeal arbitration process that has proven to be unfair….”

In addition AAPS writes that “AB 72 is invalid under the due process clauses of the California and U.S. Constitutions…. The California Supreme Court has established clear rules with respect to price controls, and AB 72 violates these rules.”

The Court’s unanimous ruling in Calfarm Ins. Co. v. Deukmejian expressly prohibits such a law, AAPS points out and quotes directly from the decision:

Having determined that [the challenged provision] precludes adjustments necessary to achieve the constitutional standard of fair and reasonable rates, and that the subdivision cannot be sustained as a temporary or emergency measure, we hold it invalid under the due process clauses of the state and federal Constitutions.

The letter concludes: “Increasingly, insurers and managed care plans offer inadequate out-of-network coverage for their enrollees. AB 72 does nothing to address this problem long-term and instead offers the wrong solution: regulating doctors.… Properly addressing this situation begins with rolling back failed policies that push patients into unaffordable plans that offer little actual coverage, not in passing an unconstitutional bill that attempts to shift the burden to independent physicians and their patients.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in virtually all specialties and every state. Founded in 1943, AAPS has the motto “omnia pro aegroto,” which means “all for the patient.”


Contact: Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, janeorientmd@gmail.com or Andrew Schlafly, Esq., (908) 719-8608, Aschlafly@aol.com

Source:Association of American Physicians and Surgeons