Thursday, October 04, 2018

PROP 4

Prop 4 would authorize $1.5 Billion in General Obligation Bonds, most of which would fund capital improvement projects at 13 Children's hospitals in the state.

This campaign is extremely well-funded by the very Children's Hospitals that stand to gain from it (each giving the same $681,500 to the campaign - is that at all suspicious?). As a result, there are good reasons to oppose this measure. It will spend public money to add equity to private businesses. As the former president of the League of Women Voters wrote: "This measure is intended to primarily benefit the same hospitals that are funding the “yes” campaign. It bypasses the legislative process, which is a better way of determining how taxpayer dollars should be spent. Proposition 4 is the third bond measure sponsored by the California Children’s Hospital Association, which represents the eight private hospitals that will receive 72 percent of the money. If the association could have persuaded the Legislature to put this measure on the ballot, it would undoubtedly have done so."

Nevertheless, some make the argument that the hospitals to receive the public money provide a public service beyond that of most private hospitals. These Children's Hospitals see more than one million kids a year, the majority of which are on Medi-Cal. As the LA Times opines, "It's lamentable that children's hospitals have to keep coming back to voters for help with their capital expenses, but it's a direct consequence of the state's low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates." The op-ed continues, "At the same time, the state has imposed more stringent seismic retrofitting standards that the hospitals must meet by 2030, and to do that, almost 30% of their inpatient capacity needs to be upgraded."

Our population in CA is growing, and our ability to serve that population is critically important. If this measure will add capacity in a way that is, at least, transparent, it's probably worth supporting. And, yes, there were two other Children's Hospitals propositions passed in 2004 and 2008, but all of those funds have been committed as of this year. It appears that the money went where it was supposed to go, so we have reason to hope that this measure will do the same.

Your Political Friend is voting YES.

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