This initiative, like Proposition 214, is not what it seems. It's a special interest trick that contains ''patient protection" provisions THAT ARE ALREADY LAW. It doesn't give consumers added protection and it's not real health care reform.
Existing laws already ensure that doctors must advocate for patients; that hospital staffing be safe and adequate; and that health care providers provide information to patients about their health care needs. Health plans and HMOs are ALREADY REQUIRED to base medical decisions on written criteria developed by doctors.
Take out the bogus ''reforms" in 216 and what is left? Costly new bureaucratic rules, special-interest job protection, and higher health care costs for consumers and taxpayers.
Proposition 216 DOES NOT provide health insurance coverage to a single Californian. It assesses BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW TAXES, which will lead to huge increases in health care costs for consumers without improving quality. Prop. 216 REQUIRES that these taxes be used for GOVERNMENT BUREAUCRATS to administer the initiative.
The Legislative Analyst says 216 will cost taxpayers HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS per year. Economists predict it could lead to a 15% increase in health insurance costs for California families. Trial lawyers will be able to file new frivolous lawsuits under both Props. 216 and 214.
Proposition 216 makes California's health care system worse. It raises health insurance and taxpayer costs by BILLIONS OF DOLLARS per year, but it DOESN'T EXTEND INSURANCE COVERAGE TO UNINSURED CALIFORNIANS.
VOTE NO on Propositions 216 and 214.
SALLY C. PIPES
Economist, Pacific Research Institute of Public Policy
Legislative Director, The Seniors Coalition