LAGUNA HONDA: San Francisco GOP Opposes Measure
In what is being called the "first serious organized opposition" to the $299 million Laguna Honda Hospital bond issue, the San Francisco Republican Party has come out against the measure, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. And "even though there are only about 63,000 registered Republicans in a city with 442,000 registered voters, the party's opposition signals a tough campaign" for a measure that must win a two-thirds majority. The measure is also opposed by two city supervisors. Opponents object to the building of a giant replacement facility for the long-term care institution, noting that such a move "is out of step with new, cheaper community-based care models for the frail and those who need long-term care" and is much more costly than other alternatives. GOP Central Committee Chair Don Casper said in a ballot argument filed yesterday: "There are more compassionate and less costly ways to address long-term care for seniors. The Laguna Honda proposal is outdated, expensive and wasteful." Supervisor Barbara Kaufman, an opponent of the project, recommended building a smaller, 400- to 600-bed facility, augmented with smaller skilled nursing centers throughout the city. However, the project is supported by Mayor Willie Brown, the Democratic Party, nine city supervisors, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Labor Council "and hundreds of devoted Laguna Honda volunteers" arrayed into a "powerful coalition," the Chronicle reports. A poll also found that the majority of city residents favor using the city's share of the tobacco settlement to rebuild Laguna Honda (Epstein, 8/18).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.