HEALTH ACCESS CALIFORNIA ALERT

Tuesday, August 19th, 2003

RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR?

RESOURCES FOR THE OCTOBER 7TH BALLOT

RECALL ELECTION:

With 135 candidates running for Governor, health advocates should be aggressive in asking candidates what their positions on relevant health care issues.

For organizations that will be communicating with those running, ATTACHED is a Health Access California one-page sheet of questions on health policy that all candidates for Governor should answer on pending health care issues, on the subject of the budget crisis, expanding health coverage, consumer and cost protections, and pending initiatives that impact health.

PROPOSITION 54:

Last week, Health Access California re-affirmed its position to strongly OPPOSE Proposition 54, Ward Connerly’s Information Ban, which would prohibit state and local governments, public universities, and school districts from collecting or using information about race, ethnicity, color or national origin. Despite an ineffective “health exemption,” the initiative would hamper efforts to improve health and reduce the risk of disease in California. We urge all organizations that care about health care to join the opposition to this destructive initiative.

On the opposition to Prop 54, more information is available at: www.informedcalifornia.org. Also ATTACHED is a one-page fact sheet prepared for health advocates by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN). The California HealthCare Foundation has developed a independent web page, at http://www.chcf.org/topics/view.cfm?itemid=21253, which has links to resources in support and opposition.

PROPOSITION 53:

Also last week, the board of Health Access California voted to OPPOSE Proposition 53, which would dedicate a percentage of the state’s general fund to infrastructure projects. This would simply further put a budget squeeze on other areas, including health care and other vital services.

The California Budget Project has published a detailed, independent look at the impact of Proposition 53, available at: http://www.cbp.org/2003/bb030813Prop53.pdf. (The CBP website also has a similarly useful brief on Prop 54, as well.)

BUDGET ACCOUNTABILITY ACT:

While much of the recall effort was fueled by discontent about the budget, the result of the recall is most likely not going to improve the budget situation. The problem has been the process, not any one personality. The current budget process allows all players to escape accountability, and fosters the kind of gridlock that we have witnessed the past two years.

Slated not for this ballot but for March 2004, the Budget Accountability Act would reform the budget process to encourage timely and responsible budgets, and would provide the real change that many might be seeking in the current recall. In one of the fastest signature-gathering operations in state history, the campaign to place the Budget Accountability Act on the ballot has collected over 800,000 signatures. We are collecting any last voluteer signatures collected: please submit them ASAP to Californians for Budget Accountability, 1510 J Street, Suite 210, Sacramento, CA 95814. With any question, call 916-443-7817 or the web site at http://www.budgetaccountabilitynow.org/



Anthony E. Wright

Executive Director

Health Access

1127 11th St., #234, Sacramento, CA 95814

Ph: 916-442-2308, Fx: 916-497-0921

awright@health-access.org

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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