Two initiatives to watch in November

Thursday June 28th was the last day to for initiatives to qualify for the November 6, 2018 ballot. Though perhaps the most interesting qualifier is  Proposition 9, which would divide California into three new states, here are the two with health care implications to watch:

Proposition 4:

Authorizes the issuance $1.5 billion in bonds for construction and upgrades at hospitals that provide qualifying care to children. 72% of funds raised would go to private nonprofit hospitals that provide services to children who qualify for certain government programs, including children with special needs who qualify for the for the California Children’s Services program. The rest of the funds would be allocated to the University of California’s acute care children’s clinics, and public and private nonprofit hospitals that serve qualified children.

The bill is sponsored by the California Children’s Hospital Association and supporters include the California Teachers’ Association.

Proposition 8:

Limits the amount of revenue outpatient kidney dialysis clinics  may retain for patient care to 115% of costs and imposes penalties for excessive charges. Requires annual reporting to the state regarding clinic costs, patient charges, and revenue. Prohibits clinics from discriminating against patients based on the source of payment for care.

The measure is sponsored by Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers who argue that the large profits that dialysis companies make should instead be put into better staffing ratios, patient care and cleanliness. According to the advocacy group Kidney Patients Deserve Better, the measure is also is supported by than 130 organizations, including health care, veterans and community groups, civil rights and social justice organizations, churches and labor unions. Dialysis companies and physician groups including the California Medical Association oppose the bill saying the price caps will not actually cover the costs to provide treatments forcing cutbacks.