[Feb. 25, 2014] SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Three more California legislators announced their endorsement of two ballot initiatives that would directly reduce prices and executive salaries in California hospitals, bringing the number of lawmakers supporting the measures to 14.
Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) and Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima) join 11 legislators who announced their support for the measures earlier this month.
“My constituents are not alone in their concern about the rising cost of healthcare in California,” said Padilla. “These ballot initiatives are just the right step to get hospital costs in line and rightfully put patients before profits.”
The two initiatives are sponsored by members of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, the state’s largest union of hospital and other healthcare workers. Together they would reduce hospital charges by more than $3.4 billion a year. More information is available at www.HealthCareCosts2Much.org.
The initiatives are:
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.
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.
Earlier legislative endorsements include Sens. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) and Mark Leno (D-San Francisco); and Assemblymembers Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles), Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Bill Quirk (D-Hayward), Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood), Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) and Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara).
Almost 500 paid signature gatherers are asking voters across the state to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot, and television and radio ads have been airing in Sacramento over the last two weeks.
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.