Letter to the editor: Stand up for health care

Palo Alto Weekly

June 8, 2018

Editor,

On Monday night, the Palo Alto City Council is expected to put a union-sponsored initiative on the November ballot. If passed, it would have significant negative consequences for patients who rely on the care they receive here in our community.

The initiative, by Service Employees International Union - United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), doesn't address health care costs or limit prices charged to patients who have insurance. It doesn't fund preventive care programs that result in a more efficient system or healthier society. Instead, it mandates Palo Alto's hospitals, medical clinics and doctors pay rebates to insurance companies, without requiring rebates be passed on to patients. Nothing improves patient safety or makes care more accessible.

The initiative also applies to local dentists, optometrists and other small, specialty practices in Palo Alto. The financial impacts are likely to force many to cut back, close or make the difficult decision to relocate away from Palo Alto.