VENTURA COUNTY: Protesters Urge Hospital to Reject CMH Initiative
In the latest chapter of the Ventura County ballot initiative saga, a group of community organizations, called the Coalition Against the Hospital Initiative, last week picketed outside of Los Robles Regional Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports. The November ballot initiative, sponsored by Community Memorial Hospital, would give seven private hospitals, including Los Robles, control of Ventura County's $260 million tobacco settlement. The 50 protesters, representing local chapters of the American Lung Association, League of Women Voters, League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, called on Los Robles administrators to reject the initiative. David Maron, chair of the coalition and former director of the Camarillo Health Care District, said, "Los Robles stands in line to win a lot of money if it passes, and we intend to tell the public that. We're calling on all the private hospitals to withdraw from the initiative." But Jim Lott, a spokesperson for the Health Care Association of Southern California, a trade group that represents the private hospitals, alleged that the Board of Supervisors was behind the demonstration. Maron denied the allegation, insisting that he launched the campaign "out of outrage at Community Memorial's attempt to seize public funds." He said the county "had nothing to do with this. They don't attend our meetings" (Cooper, 8/3).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.