Wednesday, October 13th, 2004


Proposition 72, which would ensure health coverage for millions of working Californians and their families, continues to enjoy a lead in the polls, even after weeks of false and deceptive attack ads by the opposition. Today, the YES ON PROP 72 campaign is releasing its second ad, featuring a nurse talking about the “emergency” in California’s health care system, and the provisions of Proposition 72 that help address the crisis.

HEALTH CARE PROTECTIONS: By voting YES on Proposition 72, California voters will affirm the Health Insurance Act, which would require large and medium employers to provide private health coverage to their workers. It would set a standard for health benefits–similar to the minimum wage law for pay–that employers should pay at least 80% of the premium. As a result, Proposition 72 would:

  • Protect the coverage of millions of Californians that get on-the-job health coverage, but are concerned about their employer scaling back health benefits or dropping coverage altogether.
  • Extend coverage to over a million Californians that work but do now currently get on-the-job health benefits.
  • Provide fairness to the majority of employers that provide good benefits to their workers but have to compete against those that don’t, and to taxpayers that often are asked to provide coverage and care for the workers of those that don’t.

POLLS: The Field Poll yesterday released its most recent findings on health care measures on the November ballot. It found that voters support Proposition 72, by a 45% to 29% margin, with 26% undecided.

The results, including the 16-point lead, are almost identical to the Field Poll in early August, which is remarkable, given that the opposition spent millions of dollars on three weeks on television ads. The Yes on Prop 72 campaign had not aired any commercials at the time the poll was taken a week and a half ago.

ADS: For three weeks, the opposition to Prop 72 aired two ads against the health care measure. The first was a couple discussing the measure at a kitchen table. The second was a woman in a restaurant talking to the campaign. In both cases, the statements made were false and misleading. Supporters of Prop 72 have produced analyses refuting these ads, at:

Last week, a newspaper report exposed the deceptive nature of the ads. The woman is not a restaurant owner, but a actress. The restaurant portrayed employs only 12 people, and thus would not be impacted by Proposition 72. Finally, her statements are factually wrong, misrepresenting the proposal, and its impact. The San Francisco Chronicle article is at:

Soon afterwards, the opposition campaign withdrew all its broadcast advertising for last week. In press reports, they deny their action had anything to do with the controversy around the ad, and in fact have re-started airing the same ad this week.

Last week, the YES on PROP 72 campaign introduced an ad with Dr. Richard Corlin, past president of the California Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. He states his credentials as “a doctor, not an actor,” and refutes as “scare tactics” the claims of the opposition that Proposition 72 is “government-run health care,” and simply described the bill.

Today, the YES on PROP 72 campaign introduced its second ad with a nurse talking about an “emergency in California,” and describing the specifics of Proposition 72 as a way to address it. You can view both ads at:

ALERT: The polls indicate that there is a large number of voters that are undecided on Proposition 72. Please use the YES ON PROP 72 website to send to your friends, family, colleagues and others information on Proposition 72:

ALERT: Organizational supporters of Proposition 72 should send a similar alert out to your lists and newsletters as well, asking people to go to the website, encourage friends to go as well, to write letters to the editor in support of Prop 72, and to participate in get-out-the-vote efforts. For information and assistance, contact Health Access California or the campaign directly.


In addition to YES on PROP 72, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, has taken positions on two other ballot measures. Health Access California urges “NO” votes on Propositions 64, which would take away the consumer advocates’ ability to enforce public health and consumer protections, and 65, which would rob the state of budgeting flexibility. The original supporters of Proposition 65 have abandoned their measure.

The business interests that support Proposition 64 have been running telvision ads, although the Field Poll shows the NO side leading, 38%-26%. The NO side has released clever Internet animation describing the impact of the measure, at:

ALERT: Send the link to friends and other California voters, so they can find out the impact of Proposition 64.

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