California "Fair Healthcare Pricing Act" Initiative (2014)

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A California "Fair Healthcare Pricing Act" Initiative (#13-0041) was approved for circulation in California as a contender for the November 4, 2014 ballot as an initiated state statute.

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.[1]

Text of measure

Ballot title:

Hospitals. Healthcare Service Charges. Initiative Statute.

Official summary:

"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:

(Note: The fiscal impact statement for a California ballot initiative authorized for circulation is jointly prepared by the state's Legislative Analyst and its Director of Finance.)

"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."

Support

Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) sponsored the initiative and the "Charitable Hospital Executive Compensation Act" Initiative.[2]

Supporters

Arguments

  • 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.”[3]

Opposition

Opponents

  • California Hospital Association[4]

Path to the ballot

See also: Signature requirements for ballot measures in California
  • 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 the required signatures. Filing sufficient signatures by that date would have not allowed the initiative to compete on the November 4, 2014 ballot.
  • The Secretary of State’s suggested signature filing deadline for the November 4, 2014 ballot was April 18, 2014.
  • On May 6, 2014, the SEIU withdrew the initiative due to a deal with the California Hospital Association.[5]

External links

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Suggest a link

References


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