MEASURE O: Thousand Oaks, Ojai Councils Oppose Initiative
City councils in Ojai and Thousand Oaks voted unanimously Tuesday to oppose Measure O, the ballot initiative that would divert the county's $260 million tobacco settlement to private hospitals, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Oxnard City Council also debated the issue Tuesday and will vote on Oct. 24; 17 of the meeting's 18 speakers opposed the measure. "You have to ask the question, 'How does the public benefit from all of this money going to one hospital?'" Thousand Oaks council member Andy Fox said, referring to Community Memorial Hospital, which wrote and promoted the measure and would receive most of the money if it passes. Groups opposed to the measure worry that it would set a precedent allowing private institutions to "raid" public money. Proponents of the measure called the councils' opposition "political posturing" and a tactic by county supervisors to "impos[e] ... their views" on local governments. While Ventura, Thousand Oaks and Ojai city councils have voted to oppose the initiative, other councils in Camarillo City, Simi Valley, Moorpark and Fillmore have declined to vote on the issue (Surman, Los Angeles Times, 10/11). On Wednesday, the Tri-Counties Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO and the Ventura County Taxpayers Association announced their opposition to the measure (Griffith, Ventura County Star, 10/12).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.