San Jose Mercury News Editorial Addresses Health-Related Measures on Nov. 2 Statewide Ballot
There is "ample reason" to oppose Propositions 67 and 72, which are "simple" and "inappropriate" proposals to address "complex" and "pressing" problems, a San Jose Mercury News editorial states.
Proposition 67 would add a 3% surcharge to residential telephone bills to fund hospital emergency services and training, generating an estimated $550 million annually to fund emergency department services (California Healthline, 8/16).
Proposition 72 is a referendum on a new state law (SB 2), scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2006, that will require employers with 200 or more employees to provide health insurance to workers and their dependents by 2006 or pay into a state fund to provide such coverage. By 2007, employers with 50 to 199 employees will have to provide health insurance to workers only. Companies with fewer than 20 workers will not have to comply with the law, and the law also will exempt employers with 20 to 49 workers unless the state provides them with tax credits to offset the cost of health coverage (California Healthline, 8/24).
According to the editorial, Proposition 67 would rely on too "weak" a connection between the telephone industry and emergency care services, while Proposition 72 would place an "undue burden" on state businesses and improperly interfere with management-labor negotiations.
However, the editorial adds, Proposition 61 "deserves no such objections" because it is "appropriately aimed at children's issues" and, unlike the other two measures "directly confront[s]" the need for health care reform instead of "look[ing] for innocent bystanders who can be handed the bill" (San Jose Mercury News, 9/5).
Proposition 61 is a $750 million measure that would fund the construction, expansion and equipment for children's hospitals. Including interest, the measure would cost about $1.5 billion over 30 years (California Healthline, 8/16).
The ballot titles and summaries for Propositions 61, 71 and 72 are available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the summaries.