Healthcare Workers Launch TV Ad in Support of Initiatives to Lower California Healthcare Costs

[Feb. 10, 2014] SACRAMENTOHospital workers will hit cable and television today with a $31,000 weekly ad buy in the Sacramento region that illustrates the devastating effect high hospital costs are having on California families. Curbing high hospital costs and salaries are the subject of two initiatives on track to be placed on the ballot in November.

The 30-second ad shares the story of Brenda Davis, a Los Angeles resident who suffered a stroke and received large medical bills that contributed to her filing for bankruptcy and losing her home and car.

“I was a middle class person, really living a good life,” she said in the ad, describing her situation. “When the bills kept coming in, I lost my home, my car, and it even created problems between me and my husband. Something has got to be done about this healthcare system.”

The TV spot will air on CNN, MSNBC and other news channels, and through Comcast and other television systems.

The two ballot initiatives are sponsored by members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, the state’s largest union of hospital and other healthcare workers.

Support for – and awareness of – the measures is building. Last week, 10 state legislators, including the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees, endorsed the ballot initiatives. Almost 500 paid signature gatherers are fanning out across the to qualify the measures for the November 2014.

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.
  • Charitable Hospital Executive Compensation Act of 2014: Prohibits nonprofit 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 top executives in the state’s non-profit hospitals make more than a million dollars a year.

According to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, California hospitals subject to this ballot initiative charged $233.8 billion in 2012 – even though their operating expenses were only $54.5 billion.

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 Paid for by Yes for a Healthy California, sponsored and major funding by Service Employees International Union, United Health Care Workers West. Additional major funding by State Council of Service Employees Issues Committee.

 SEIU—United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s fastest-growing union. Learn more at


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