Measure To Fund Alameda County Medical Center, Other Health Programs Faces Challenges
A measure that would raise the sales tax in Alameda County by half a cent to provide about $90 million annually for Alameda County Medical Center and other health care facilities "still must overcome some harsh electoral realities to win with voters," the Contra Costa Times reports. Supporters of Measure A, which will appear on the March 2 ballot, say it would help maintain emergency and basic care services, as well as mental health and substance abuse treatment, for low-income residents throughout Alameda County. Although the measure faces "little organized opposition," it likely will face a "tough test" securing approval from the required two-thirds of voters, in part because it would raise Alameda County's sales tax to 8.75% -- the highest for any California county -- and appears on the ballot with a number of other "fund-generating" proposals, the Times reports (Ashley, Contra Costa Times, 2/16).
If Measure A fails, "much of the blame must go to the Alameda County Medical Center Board of Trustees and county Board of Supervisors," an Oakland Tribune editorial states. The trustees and supervisors have shot "themselves in the political foot" by "hand[ing] Cambio Health Solutions" an 18-month consulting contract for $3.2 million," the editorial continues, noting that many voters are likely to oppose Measure A when "word of the high-priced contract reaches them." The editorial concludes, "Hiring Cambio this close to the election was a mistake that could come back to bite the ACMC board -- and their supposed supervisors" (Oakland Tribune, 2/17).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.