TODAY IS ELECTION DAY: PLEASE VOTE! It is hard to overstate the importance to today’s election, especially to health care. Up and down the ballot, from the Presidency to members of Congress to key California ballot measures, each vote will have sharp impacts in our health system.
Federally, this may be the most consequential election regarding the future of health care in American history, with starkly different proposals and ideas between the Presidential candidates, and the Congressional candidates of their respective political parties, on the future of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.
Here in California, our state budget and the state’s ability to fund health and human services now and in the future could rely on the passage of key ballot measures. YOU, the voter, have the power to influence these decisions.
BALLOT MEASURE RECOMMENDATIONS: If you are still considering how to vote on key ballot measures, Health Access California recommends the following positions on state ballot initiatives:
* YES ON PROPOSITION 30: Proposition 30 raises revenues to prevent further cuts to education and other vital services. Prop 30 asks the wealthiest Californians to pay their fair share, temporarily increasing the personal income tax for the top 3% of income earners in California – individuals who earn over $250,000 per year. Prop 30 also increases the sales tax rate by ¼ cent for four years, bringing it to a rate lower than it was just last year. The estimated revenues of $6.8 to $9 billion dollars a year will go to K-12 education and colleges, as well as to guarantee public safety funding–helping ensure health programs are not cut in order to fund schools and police. YES on 30.
* NO ON PROPOSITION 31: Prop 31, a complex mix of changes to the state constitution, would give the Governor unilateral ability to make midyear cuts, in many instances, without public hearing or legislative review. Prop 31 also would limit the state’s ability to invest in our health and well-being, even when the state hada the money. Yet another provision would allow local governments to pre-empt and replace state laws on health, labor, and environmental standards. California government needs reform, but Prop 31 would make a bad budget process worse–less transparent, less accountable, and less flexible to meet the state’s future needs. NO on 31.
* NO ON PROPOSITION 32: Proposition 32 would give big companies and SuperPACs a bigger ability to influence elections. Advocates for consumers, patients and workers would find themselves at an even greater disadvantage against those that represent insurers, drug companies, and other parts of the health industry under Prop 32, which would further tip the balance of power in Sacramento. Prop 32 would place restriction on labor unions while providing special exemptions for corporations, SuperPACs, and millionaires to increase their relative influence and political power. NO on 32.
SAVE-THE-DATE: After the election, Health Access will host a 25th Anniversary symposium and reception on December 4th in Sacramento at the Citizen Hotel. The program will honor the past but lay out the challenges and opportunities in the effort to fulfill the promise of health reform.
Speakers include California HHS Secretary Diana Dooley; Senator Ed Hernandez, Chair of the Senate Health Committee; Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Health; and Assemblyman Richard Pan, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee; and many others. There will be lots to talk about, right after the election and as a special legislative session is called to continue to implement health reform.
You are invited to order tickets and even help sponsor the event, to celebrate 25 years of Health Access, the election results, and the work ahead.
Again, please remember to vote today!