[Dec. 2, 2017] WATSONVILLE, Calif. – Watsonville Mayor Oscar Rios and dozens of healthcare workers gathered at Watsonville City Hall to launch signature gathering for a November 2018 ballot initiative that seeks to protect patients from being overcharged by Watsonville Community Hospital and other healthcare facilities in the city.
“For every family that needs to go to the hospital, the last thing on their mind should be whether they’re going to be overcharged,” said Chris Gil, a surgical technician at Watsonville Community Hospital. “We think voters agree that healthcare prices are out of control, and they’ll support getting this initiative on the ballot.”
The proposed ballot initiative would limit Watsonville Community Hospital and other medical facilities in the city from charging patients more than 15 percent above the cost of care. Any charges above that amount would be refunded.
Organizers need to collect the signatures of 1,791 registered Watsonville voters to qualify the measure for the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
According to state records, Watsonville Community Hospital charges an average of $44,988 for a healthy baby delivery and $80,742 for treating a kidney infection, whereas Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz charges an average of only $27,256 and $53,688, respectively.