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In Case You Missed It: San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times and Bay Area Reporter Oppose Prop 23

Prop 23 adds “hundreds of millions of dollars of cost for little or no medical gain.”

Sacramento – Noting that Proposition 23 will not improve patient care one bit, the San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times and Bay Area Reporter each urged voters to reject the November ballot proposition.

The San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times, and Bay Area Reporter join the other daily newspapers opposed: Bakersfield Californian, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Riverside Press-Enterprise, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, Pasadena Star-News, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Whittier Daily News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, and Redlands Daily Facts.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

  •  “Just as they did two years ago, leaders of a large labor union are trying to use a statewide election to go after the kidney dialysis industry.”
  • “California voters saw through the political blackmail by the Service Employees International Union in 2018, when 60% of voters rejected Proposition 8, a misguided effort to regulate the industry. Now, they should turn down Proposition 23 on the Nov. 3 ballot…”
  • “Requiring on-site physicians sounds good on the surface. But we already have a shortage of kidney doctors in California and throughout the United States. The vast majority of the dialysis clinics in the state would be forced to hire doctors with no expertise in the specialty field, adding hundreds of millions of dollars of cost for little or no medical gain.”

From the East Bay Times:

  • “Not even doctors who stand to financially benefit from the measure support it. The California Medical Association, Alameda-Contra Costa Medical Association, San Mateo Medical Association and more than 25 other medical groups throughout the state oppose Prop. 23.”
  • “Prop. 23 would create special challenges for non-profit clinics such as Satellite Dialysis, which has 48 facilities spread throughout the Bay Area. The legislative analyst warns that clinic closures could create overcrowding, forcing dialysis patients to seek treatment in more costly settings, like hospitals.”
  • “Voters should send union leaders a strong signal that nuisance ballot measures have no business being on the California ballot. Vote no on Prop. 23.”

From the Bay Area Reporter No on Proposition 23 editorial excerpts:

  • “…physicians claim they are often needed in multiple hospitals, dialysis centers, and clinics, and to mandate them to stay on site during treatments would be unproductive.”
  • “Currently nurses and staff at dialysis clinics are trained and well-equipped to administer routine treatments and a physician can be contacted if necessary.”


Nearly 100 groups oppose Prop 23, including the California Medical Association, American Nurses Association\California, and many others because it would jeopardize the lives of dialysis patients by forcing hundreds of dialysis clinics to cut back services or shut down completely – making it more difficult for dialysis patients to access their life-saving treatments. 

Furthermore, this dangerous and costly dialysis measure would make the state’s current doctor shortage and emergency room overcrowding even worse, while unnecessarily increasing health care costs for taxpayers and consumers by hundreds of millions of dollars every year. All of this, in the midst of a global pandemic, threatens to put a strain on necessary health care resources across California.

There are approximately 80,000 dialysis patients in California with failed kidneys who need machines to clean their blood and remove toxins from their bodies. Patients must receive dialysis treatment three times a week for four hours at a time to stay alive. Access to consistent dialysis treatments is so important that just one missed treatment increases patients’ risk of death by 30%. 

Prop 23 is sponsored by the United Healthcare Workers West (UHW) union – the same organization that abused California’s initiative process two years ago by bankrolling Proposition 8 on the 2018 ballot. Prop 8 would have also caused dialysis clinics throughout California to cut back services or shut down, dangerously threatening dialysis patients’ lives. That’s why every daily newspaper in California opposed Prop 8 and voters overwhelmingly rejected it by 20 points. Now, this special interest group is at it again with a different attempt, but the same outcome, that would put dialysis patients lives at risk.

While unions have the right to try to unionize workers, it’s not right to abuse the initiative system and use vulnerable patients as political pawns – especially now in the face of a public health crisis.

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