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Prop 23 is “a cynical attack on dialysis care”

Sacramento –In its editorial opposing Proposition 23, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat urged readers to reject the cynical measure: “Proposition 23 is likely to result in some clinics closing and create disincentives for opening new ones without improving care for people whose lives depend on kidney dialysis.”

The Press Democrat joins other daily newspapers opposed to Prop 23 including: the San Jose Mercury News, East Bay Times, Bay Area Reporter, 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 Press Democrat:  

  • “Don’t be fooled by Proposition 23 on the Nov. 3 ballot. This initiative is ostensibly about protecting kidney dialysis patients, but it’s actually a cynical attempt to punish clinic operators for resisting a union organizing campaign.”
  • “Dialysis patients and, to a lesser extent, taxpayers stand to be collateral damage.”
  • ‘A physician at the clinic wouldn’t be involved in their care but would add to their costs.’
  • “An independent analysis by the state’s nonpartisan legislative analyst concluded that Proposition 23 could cause dialysis clinics to raise rates for insured patients as well as Medi-Cal managed care programs, with added taxpayer costs “in the low tens of millions of dollars annually.”
  • “Of course, driving up costs is the unstated goal of Proposition 23.”
  • “Given rising rates of diabetes, which can cause kidney failure, California is going to need more dialysis clinics, not fewer.”
  • “Proposition 23 is likely to result in some clinics closing and create disincentives for opening new ones without improving care for people whose lives depend on kidney dialysis. The Press Democrat recommends a no vote on Proposition 23.”

Background:

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.

Please visit NoProp23.com for more information.