With just a week until the General Election, newspapers up and down the state have published editorials urging a “yes” vote on California Chamber of Commerce-supported Proposition 52.
Proposition 52 extends indefinitely the existing law imposing fees on hospitals to fund Medi-Cal health care services, care for uninsured patients and children’s health coverage.
CalChamber Reasons for Position
Extending the current fee program provides certainty about the availability of federal matching funds (more than $3 billion a year) for hospitals and health care services for children, seniors and low-income families. By requiring a two-thirds vote, the proposition increases the difficulty for the Legislature to make any changes. The measure also prohibits the Legislature from diverting the money for other purposes without voter approval.
Following are excerpts from some of the newspaper editorials supporting Proposition 52.
The Bakersfield Californian: Vote yes on Prop. 52, hospital fees for Medi-Cal “The measure is a sound strategy for stabilizing revenue for public and private hospitals, and it ensures that the money will be spent on healthcare, rather than being ripped off by other state agencies.” August 30, 2016
East Bay Times: Prop. 52 complicated, but worth support “Medi-Cal covers one-third of California’s 39 million residents, including low-income families, seniors, children and the disabled. To fulfill this obligation, the state needs to attract every federal matching dollar available and have a stable source of funding for Medi-Cal. Prop. 52 helps accomplish both goals.” September 18, 2016
Los Angeles Times: Yes on Proposition 52 to keep Medi-Cal funded “Generally speaking, it’s better for voters not to tie lawmakers’ hands on the budget. But the tradeoff presented by Proposition 52 is, on balance, a fair one. It would preserve an important revenue source for a vital safety program that’s already woefully underfunded. It deserves a yes vote.” September 13, 2016
The Mercury News (San Jose): Proposition 52 will ensure Medi-Cal funding “Mandating that fees go to a specific purpose limits the Legislature’s discretion during budget crises. But the linkage here is direct and appropriate. The state is providing more and more Californians with Medi-Cal coverage. It can’t keep doing that without paying hospitals and doctors adequately, and failing to claim federal dollars available for that compensation was, and would be, irresponsible. Vote yes on Proposition 52.” September 14, 2016
The Orange County Register: Yes on Proposition 52 “Prop. 52 would make the hospital fee program permanent and stop the raids on funds that are intended to fill the budget hole caused by California’s underfunding of Medi-Cal…Prop. 52 helps California collect available federal funds to help pay for a safety-net program that now serves one-third of state residents.” October 6, 2016
The Record (Stockton): Record endorsements: Voters faced with 17 state ballot measures “Vote yes. This will help hospitals recover some of the money they now spend for services to low-income patients. We feel concerns the money will be ‘diverted’ to hospital bureaucracy are overstated.” October 15, 2016
The Sacramento Bee: In support of children’s health care, yes on Proposition 52 “Proposition 52 is a rare initiative for which there should be little debate or dissent. The measure would extend an existing fee on hospitals to provide health care to poor people, guarantee that the federal government will match the state’s share, and inhibit the Legislature from diverting the money to other programs.” September 7, 2016
San Diego Union-Tribune: Yes on Proposition 52: California should prop up Medi-Cal “The measure would shore up a Medi-Cal system that now takes care of one-third of state residents and encourage more providers to accept Medi-Cal patients for outpatient and specialized treatments. It could be scrapped by a two-thirds vote of the Assembly and Senate — an important safety valve in case of fiscal emergency.” October 12, 2016
San Francisco Chronicle: Chronicle recommends: Yes on Prop. 52 “While it seems unlikely that lawmakers would allow this critical program to expire, voters should seize the opportunity to not only guarantee that it will continue, but to require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to divert any money from it. We recommend passage of Prop. 52.” September 13, 2016
Ventura County Star: Vote yes on Prop. 52 to keep Medi-Cal funds “This is, like so much related to our system of health-care financing, an overly complicated issue. But it was, and is, a good idea that hospitals in California devised to help us get the maximum financial assistance from the federal government for our Medi-Cal program. The hospitals certainly benefit, but so do all Californians, who either receive this care or are not faced with the alternative of higher taxes to pay for it.” September 27, 2016
For more information on Proposition 52, visit www.yesprop52.org
To view all CalChamber positions on the General Election ballot measures, visit www.calchamber.com/ballot.