Let’s be blunt: Voters should reject Proposition 8 on Nov. 6. It would limit the profits of kidney dialysis clinics on the spurious grounds someone somewhere needs to force owners to spend more on “direct patient care and health-care improvements.”
Help dialysis patients? It could lead to the closure of an unknown number of dialysis clinics, especially in rural areas, which would up-end the lives of many of the nearly 70,000 Californians who depend on dialysis. That’s because the measure is written in a way that doesn’t allow clinics to count significant categories of spending in their profit-and-loss statements, a flaw that seems likely to lead to a court fight over revenue caps. There are so many unanswered questions about how Proposition 8 would work that the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office said the effect on overall government revenues could be an increase in the low tens of millions of dollars or a reduction of tens of millions of dollars.
It’s no wonder that the measure is opposed by the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association, ER doctors, Chronic Disease Coalition, Renal Physicians Association, veterans groups, dialysis patients and many others.
So how did such a shoddy measure reach the ballot? Thanks to the SEIU-UHW West union, which has been unable to organize the state’s two largest dialysis businesses. A union spokesman openly told the San Francisco Chronicle that Proposition 8 would help the union in its labor dispute.
A union should not put the lives of sick people at risk to win a labor battle. Vote no on Proposition 8.