PROPOSITIONS 216 and 214 HAVE THIS IN COMMON: THEY'RE BAD MEDICINE FOR CALIFORNIA. They're special interest measures that won't deliver real health care reform. Instead, they make things worse. We need health care reform, but 216 and 214 are WRONG SOLUTIONS.
Real health care reform should make insurance more affordable and reduce the number of uninsured Californians. Proposition 216 does the opposite--it could DRAMATICALLY RAISE HEALTH INSURANCE costs, leading to FEWER PEOPLE COVERED.
Californians from every walk of life, including Republicans, Democrats and Independents, nurses, physicians, hospitals, seniors, consumers, taxpayers, and businesses oppose Proposition 216.
SPONSORED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS
Like Proposition 214, Prop. 216 is a special interest measure designed to help its sponsors. The nurses union co-sponsoring 216 will have more health care workers to represent because of Proposition 216's quotas. These quotas could cost consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in higher health charges and will not improve health care. Trial lawyers stand to make MILLIONS OF DOLLARS in attorney fees for filing more frivolous health care lawsuits permitted by 216.
Proposition 216 is DEVASTATING TO TAXPAYERS. The independent Legislative Analyst, says 216 could cost taxpayers SEVERAL HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS per year in administrative costs . . . millions MORE to provide coverage to government workers . . . millions more in lost tax revenues.
Proposition 216 also enacts FOUR NEW TAXES on health care businesses that could cost BILLIONS of dollars. Every consumer in California will ultimately pay!
''216 is a disaster for taxpayers. According to an independent study, in LA County alone, it's nearly $60 million more to provide health coverage to government workers. Statewide, we'll pay hundreds of millions in higher costs."
HIGHER HEALTH COSTS
Health costs will skyrocket under Proposition 216. Independent economists estimate premiums could increase up to 15%, COSTING CONSUMERS BILLIONS OF DOLLARS. Higher costs hit families and small businesses hardest. Many could be forced to lay off workers and reduce benefits; some could be forced to close. Proposition 216 could mean 60,000 LOST CALIFORNIA JOBS.
Employees pay the highest price:
''The small company where I work can't afford those higher costs. They'll be forced to drop our coverage or pass the costs to employees like me. I can't afford 216."
EXCESSIVE GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT
Prop. 216 requires dozens of new rules, regulations and government functions, employing a legion of government bureaucrats. For instance, 216 gives bureaucrats power to mandate staffing levels in every hospital, doctor's office and clinic. It even requires DAILY COMPLIANCE REPORTS.
''That's too much government! Imagine the cost of government bureaucrats hovering over every health care provider office in California."
CAN'T BE FIXED
When was the last time a ballot initiative turned out exactly as promised? Prop. 216 makes it almost impossible to fix problems when they develop. Californians will be stuck with a costly, flawed initiative.
Proposition 216 is phony health care reform sponsored by special interests. It will cost taxpayers and consumers billions of dollars.
WILLIAM S. WEIL, M.D.
Cedars Sinai Health Associates
SALLY C. PIPES
Economist, Pacific Research Institute of Public Policy