Nurses Union Recommends a No Vote on Proposition 1A

May 2009

California - Proposition 1A is a legislative placebo.   No matter how much wishful thinking occurs in Sacramento, it does not cure our current or future budget problems.  It only makes things worse.

We already know where the money will come from for a $13 billion dollar “rainy day” fund.

First, it will come from a reduction in services to our most vulnerable members in our communities.  This past February, the budget agreement stripped Medi-Cal benefits for low-income seniors.

Second, moving additional money from the general fund to a “rainy day” fund will only limit the resources available for healthcare services now and in the future.

For over 30 years, the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals and its 16,000 members have fought numerous efforts to cut resources to state health programs – in good and bad economic times.   As an organization of healthcare professionals, we understand that sometimes it’s necessary to take our medicine to get better . . . even if the medicine is tough to swallow.

However, Proposition 1A will restrict healthcare services to the current levels for years to come – levels that were established after the most recent cuts and are unlikely to be restored.

According to Health Access California, it is likely that there will be further cuts to existing programs because the spending cap formula does not take into consideration that:

  • Medical inflation increases at a faster rate than the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Aging populations have greater healthcare needs.
  • During economic downturns, people who lose their jobs also lose their employer-based health coverage.

Lastly, it will be difficult to succeed in any future healthcare reform efforts if Proposition 1A passes. We are already cutting basic health services for seniors and the needy.  Any new legislation to enact true healthcare reform or expand existing coverage would be virtually impossible.

Politicians are not being straight with the people of California. Proposition 1A is a placebo in every sense of the word. California voters need to vote No on Proposition 1 A.

Jimmy Gomez
Political Director