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In Case You Missed It: San Diego Union-Tribune: No on Prop 23

September 24, 2020

Sacramento – In its editorial opposing Proposition 23, the San Diego Union-Tribune urged readers to vote no on Prop 23 stating, “Union power play puts dialysis patients at risk.”

TheSan Diego Union-Tribune joins other major statewide daily newspapers opposed to Prop 23 including theLos Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, San Jose Mercury News East Bay Times, Lake County Record-Bee, Bay Area Reporter, Bakersfield Californian, Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Santa Barbara News Press 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, andRedlands Daily Facts.

Excerpts from the San Diego Union-Tribune editorial include:

  • “California’s dialysis clinics have a better safety record than the nation in general.”
  • “…independent reporting on dialysis clinics has not substantiated the claim that a doctor needs to be on hand when patients are linked to dialysis machines…”
  • “…federal statistics show that California’s dialysis clinics have a better safety record than the nation in general.”
  • “…life or death medical decisions — shouldn’t spill over into the voting public and the state’s initiative process.”
  • “A ballot measure that makes dialysis clinics more expensive is likely to lead to the closing of clinics with marginal profits, which are often in rural areas.”
  • “That’s an abuse of power. Voters should send a clear message not to try this again.” 

Background:

More than 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.