Community Memorial Hospital Spent $2.7M on Measure O
Community Memorial Hospital spent nearly $2.7 million in its effort to gain support for Measure O, the voter-rejected ballot initiative that would have diverted Ventura County's share of the tobacco settlement to private hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reports. CMH spent a total of $2,698,384 on an "avalanche" of mailings, public relations firms and consultants to promote Measure O and convince voters that the hospital was "best qualified" to use the estimated $260 million tobacco settlement for health care. The Coalition Against Measure O spent a total of $202,611 on its successful campaign to block the initiative. Defending the cost of the hospital's campaign, CMH spokesperson Mark Barnhill said that the initiative battle "helped make health care a serious issue in Ventura County." Although Measure O was defeated, the two groups continue their court battle over which side should pay for legal fees (Kelly/Cooper/Ragland, Los Angeles Times, 2/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.