SEIU-UHW announces campaign team to pass healthcare ballot initiatives

[Jan. 15, 2014] SACRAMENTO, Calif. SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West announced its core campaign team today for a pair of initiatives to end overpricing at California hospitals and rein in excessive executive compensation at the state’s nonprofit hospitals. Together, it is estimated that the two initiatives would reduce hospital costs in California by more than $2.5 billion a year.

“This is the most experienced, successful and formidable group of ballot initiative pros that you can bring together in California, and we believe they will lead us to success in November to lower the cost of healthcare for everyone in the state,” said SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan.

The core team is composed of:

  • SCN Strategies, based in San Francisco, will serve as the campaign’s main media consultant and strategist. The principals of SCN strategies – Ace Smith, Sean Clegg, and Dan Newman – have decades of experience winning political and initiative campaigns in California, including serving as chief consultants for the campaigns of Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom, and Kamala Harris, and the successful passage of Prop 30, the first statewide tax measure to pass in almost a decade. For more information go to www.scnstrategies.com.

“These initiatives address the No. 1 issue in healthcare today – skyrocketing costs,” Clegg said. “They will change healthcare for the better in California, and we can’t wait to present them to the voters.”

  • Lisa Grove, a veteran of numerous successful initiatives in California and across the nation, will serve as the campaign’s pollster. Grove and her firm, Anzalone Liszt Grove Research, have a 90 percent win rate on ballot initiatives, and they helped develop the winning message for California’s Prop. 32, the payroll deduction measure that was defeated handily in 2012. They served as pollsters to President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign in 2012, and have successfully helped elect political leaders to the U.S. Senate and House, governorships, and all levels of state and local government. For more information go to www.algpolling.com.

“Our polling shows strong bipartisan support for these initiatives, and what’s most exciting is that the more people learn about them, the more they support them,” Grove said.

  • Democracy Resources, one of the country’s premier initiative qualification companies, will serve as the campaign’s signature-gathering firm. The company has successfully placed initiatives on ballots across the country, and has opened offices across the state to begin signature collection in many areas this week. For more information go to www.democracyresources.com.

The two statewide ballot initiatives include:

  • Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2014: Prohibits hospitals from charging more than 25 percent above the actual cost of providing patient care. On average, California hospitals charge 320 percent more than the actual cost of providing care in their facilities, leading to aspirin tablets that cost $21 each, and $29 crutches for which patients can be charged nearly $300.
  • Charitable Hospital Executive Compensation Act of 2014: Prohibits nonprofit charitable hospital executives in California from receiving more than $450,000 in annual compensation – the same amount received by the President of the United States. Many nonprofit hospital execs currently make more than $1 million a year, with some making much more.

Paid for by Yes for a Healthy California, sponsored by Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West. Major funding by Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers West.


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