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Santa Monica, CA – In a confidential email to hospital executives across California, the CEO of California’s hospital association Duane Dauner states the hospital lobby is poised to spend $60 million on its recently filed ballot measure for an “iron-clad protection initiative” that would make it “impossible for the state to make payment cuts to hospitals for any services.”

In the revealing email, obtained by Consumer Watchdog, Dauner says that the hospital lobby’s new ballot initiative and fighting back ballot measures for health insurance rate regulation and patient safety would make fighting two more recently filed ballot measures on hospital pricing too difficult. He presents hospitals with a detailed proposal to stave off the ballot measures limiting hospital prices and executive compensation.

View the hospital association email and attached documents here:

“Hospitals should not be spending $60 million of consumers’ health insurance premiums and taxpayer reimbursements to prevent the legislature from having the power to cut payments when necessary,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.  “The Legislative Analyst should highlight this power grab for voters.”

Consumer Watchdog referred the memo to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, which is preparing information on the hospital initiative for voters.

The hospital lobby’s top official says of the initiative it just filed that: “CHA is committed to a $60 million campaign to pass the ballot initiative that gives permanent protection to hospitals under any tax, fee or assessment program ….making it impossible for the State to make payment cuts to hospitals for any service. This iron-clad protection initiative is essential: otherwise the State progressively will take more of fee proceeds.”

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