Healthcare Ballot Initiative Campaign Opens with $2 Million

[Jan. 17, 2014] SACRAMENTO, Calif. SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West announced the formation of its campaign committee to pass a pair of initiatives aimed at ending overpricing at California hospitals and reining in excessive executive compensation at the state’s nonprofit charitable hospitals.

The committee, called “Yes for a Healthy California,” begins with $2 million in its campaign account, with more to come as signature gathering to qualify the two initiatives kicked off in many areas of the state this week. Together, it is estimated that the two initiatives would reduce hospital costs in California by more than $3 billion a year.

“We’re well on our way,” said SEIU-UHW President Dave Regan. “Healthcare workers in California are dead serious about improving the health of everyone in the state by lowering hospital costs and holding down outrageous executive compensation. This November, California voters will have the opportunity to take matters into their own hands and help shape a better, more efficient and more effective hospital system.”

The two statewide ballot initiatives are:

  • 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.

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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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