California "Fair Healthcare Pricing Act" Initiative (2014)
|Not on Ballot|
| This measure did not or |
will not appear on a ballot
Supporters of the initiative referred to it as the "Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2014."
The SEIU and the California Hospital Association (CHA) negotiated a deal that resulted in the union withdrawing the ballot initiative and the "Charitable Hospital Executive Compensation Act" Initiative. The CHA, in exchange, approved a new “code of conduct” that may make union organizing easier.
Text of measure
- "Prohibits hospitals from charging more than 25 percent above the estimated cost of goods and services provided to patients. Requires hospitals to refund excess charges each year, adjusted to account for unreimbursed losses from treating uninsured and low-income patients. Requires hospitals to provide annual patient care expense and revenue reports. Exempts children's hospitals, public hospitals, and veterans' hospitals. Authorizes regulations and fees assessed on hospitals to implement measure, and penalties for non-compliance."
Fiscal impact statement:
- "State and local government savings associated with reduced government employer-sponsored health insurance spending on hospital services, potentially ranging from the mid- to high-hundreds of millions of dollars annually, offset to an unknown degree by (1) various responses by insurers and hospitals and (2) possible pressures to increase General Fund spending on Medi-Cal hospital services. Uncertain but potentially significant state and local government costs over the next few years, due to likely decreased revenues from existing limited-term fees on certain private hospitals to (1) offset state costs for children's health coverage and (2) support state and local public hospitals."
Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) sponsored the initiative and the "Charitable Hospital Executive Compensation Act" Initiative.
- SEIU-UWH’s President Dave Reagan said, “The days of charging $18 for a single aspirin and $230 for crutches have got to end, and we're confident Californians will agree with us when this initiative comes before voters in the fall.”
- California Hospital Association
Path to the ballot
- Rebecca Malberg and Stanley Lyles submitted a letter requesting a title and summary on November 8, 2013.
- A title and summary were issued by the Attorney General of California's office on January 6, 2014.
- 504,760 valid signatures are required for qualification purposes.
- Supporters had until June 5, 2014, to collect and submit the required number of signatures, as petition circulators are given 150 days to circulate petitions.
- The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014, ballot was April 18, 2014. This means that if supporters had submitted enough valid signatures by June 5 but after April 18, the measure could have been pushed back as far as the next statewide general election, in November 2016.
- On May 6, 2014, the SEIU withdrew the initiative due to a deal with the California Hospital Association.
- Los Angeles Times, "Hospitals and union make deal to avoid ballot measure fight," May 6, 2014
- California Healthline, "Union Says It's on Track To Qualify Ballot Initiatives on Hospital Costs," February 12, 2014
- Los Angeles Times, "Union begins signature drive for hospital pricing ballot initiative," February 20, 2014
- California Healthline, "CHA Mounts Challenge to Proposed Hospital-Related Ballot Initiatives," February 13, 2014
- San Francisco Business Times, "Hospital Association, SEIU union set to announce agreement likely to take measures off California ballot," May 6, 2014
State of California
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