Defeated Health-Related Ballot Initiatives Failed Because of Financing, Business, Health Care Leader Say
The health-related propositions on the Nov. 2 statewide ballot that were defeated failed "because they would have overburdened middle-income taxpayers," business and health care leaders said Wednesday at a forum in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. The forum, which more than 200 business leaders attended, was intended to help educate them about health care options and "discuss what could be done to shore up the [Los Angeles County's] ailing health care system," according to the Daily News.
State voters last week approved Proposition 61, which funds expansions of children's hospitals, and Proposition 63, which raises the state's personal income tax by 1% on annual incomes that exceed $1 million to fund mental health services.
According to James Barber, president and CEO of the Hospital Association of Southern California, "The propositions that passed (did so) because the perceived financial pain of the electorate was low."
California voters defeated Proposition 67, which would have increased phone taxes to pay for emergency department personnel, and under Proposition 72, repealed SB 2, a state law requiring some employers to provide health insurance to workers or pay into a state fund to provide such coverage.
Of the propositions that failed, Barber said, "We have an issue of financing here. I don't think it's an issue of desirability, covering the uninsured and supporting emergency ... departments and trauma centers." He added, "I think that's the lesson: We failed to deliver on something that wasn't crafted and engineered well enough to pass muster."
George Kieffer, chair of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, said, "Health care is an issue that impacts each and every one of us, day in and day out. As employers, parents and children of the elderly, we all have a stake in making the current system work."
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Don Knabe said the business community in the area needs to educate employees about health care options and reduce the number of uninsured to set an example for the rest of the state (Anderson, Los Angeles Daily News, 11/11).