California Healthline by David Gorn –
June 30, 2014
California Secretary of State Debra Bowen last week announced six initiatives have qualified for the November ballot — two of them health-related.
The deadline for ballot qualification was June 26.
Proponents of two other health-related measures had hoped to make the November 2014 election, but the Secretary of State’s office is holding them pending signature verification. If they have enough valid signatures, they will qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
The six measures on the November ballot have not yet been assigned numbers. For the November 2012 election, the Secretary of State released ballot numbers on July 9 of that year.
The two health-related measures that did qualify for the November 2014 ballot are both sponsored by Consumer Watchdog, a not-for-profit consumer advocacy group based in Santa Monica. The two qualified initiatives are:
• A proposal to regulate health insurance rate hikes by giving greater enforcement power to the state’s Department of Insurance; and
• A measure to raise the cap on medical malpractice lawsuits, and to require drug testing for doctors.
The two health-related initiatives that did not make the 2014 ballot but may have enough signatures to qualify in 2016 are:
•• A proposal to bump up wages of home health workers in the In-Home Supportive Services program whenever there is an increase in the minimum wage, and to require a certain amount of training for those workers; and
•• An initiative to make permanent the Medi-Cal hospital quality assurance fee used to draw down matching federal funds. The money is used to pay hospitals for Medi-Cal health care services. Hospitals in California want to make sure the state can’t siphon off that money for other purposes.