Earlier this week, the state finally paid back the illegal $200 million raid on the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund made in the last two-year budget bill under the Doyle administration. A court ruling found that this raid was illegal and required the state to pay back the $200 million with interest and penalties.
This payment was made possible by the passage of Assembly Bill 148, also known as the “Bill to Pay the Bills”, which authorizes the state to pay $235 million to cover the cost of repaying the raid as well as any interest and penalty payments owed by the state. The State Budget Office estimates that this legislation could save taxpayers up to $70 million by repaying the fund now instead of allowing interest payments to add up.
States without a reliable Patients Compensation Fund have seen their number of doctors practicing in their state dwindle due to less protection against lawsuits, and rural communities lose the most when they are unable to keep doctors. I am pleased that this payment was made and that the Patients Compensation Fund has been restored.