California Dolphin: statewide California news

Union seeks to place patient initiative on November ballot

A union representing healthcare workers in Palo Alto said Wednesday it has received enough signatures to qualify a ballot initiative in November aimed at stopping hospitals from overcharging patients.
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West announced in a press release it submitted 3,506 signatures to the city of Palo Alto. The city clerk’s office said it has forwarded them to the county registrar of voters for review. The initiative needs 2,407 verified signatures from Palo Alto residents to qualify for the ballot.
SEIU launched initiative efforts in Palo Alto, Redwood City and two other Bay Area cities where Stanford has medical facilities to restrict the amount hospitals can charge patients to no more than 15 percent above the actual cost of providing care. If approved by voters, the measures would take effect Jan. 1. Violators would have to issue rebates or reduce bills to patients if they’re found to have charged higher than acceptable fees, according to the initiative.
“The prices hospitals charge has gotten out of control,” Charles Fonseca, a Stanford certified nursing assistant, said in the release. “This initiative will make patients — not profits — the priority for healthcare providers in Palo Alto.”
In a statement issued late Wednesday, Stanford said the initiative will not expand access to affordable, high-quality care as the union claims, and instead will harm Palo Alto residents.
“The true objective of this initiative appears to be nothing more than an SEIU-Union Healthcare Workers West (UHW) effort to gain paying members and to distort facts about our organization in the process,” the statement reads. “If it passes, the Palo Alto community’s access to world-class health care will be unnecessarily jeopardized.
“The measure’s fine print reveals that it does not actually limit prices charged to patients, but instead targets local hospitals, medical clinics and doctors, and forces them to pay rebates to insurance companies without any requirement that the rebates be passed on to consumers.”
San Mateo County Supervisor David Canepa and East Palo Alto Mayor Ruben Abrica, who both support the initiative, helped launch the signature-gathering effort in February.

Top News

Ain't No God; don't even think about theism

UnFox News: not a propaganda arm of the Republican party