$1.8M spent on ballot measure to limit charges of Palo Alto healthcare providers

A ballot initiative to place a 15 percent cap on hospital charges in Palo Alto, Calif. has drawn $1.8 million in spending by supporters and opponents of the measure, the Daily Post reports.  

The political action committee of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West sponsored the ballot initiative. As of Oct. 1, it had raised $3.8 million this year and spent $874,708.70 to support the measure, according to the report.

The opposition committee — Protect Our Local Hospitals and Health Care — has raised $4.2 million this year. This includes $3.2 million from the California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems; $339,800 from Stanford Health Care — which has a main campus in Palo Alto — and $148,000 from Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health. According to the report, the committee has spent $946,385.13 on opposition efforts related to the measure.

The Palo Alto ballot initiative, initially filed in May, would place a 15 percent cap on the amount Palo Alto-based hospitals can charge in excess of service costs. Hospitals, medical clinics and other providers in Palo Alto would have to refund payers for charges exceeding the 15 percent cap within 180 days of each fiscal year.


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