Frequently Asked Questions
What is the state of health care in Palo Alto? +
Palo Alto is home to some of the world’s finest medical organizations. Stanford Health Care, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Kaiser Permanente affiliates La Selva and Webster House and many other local providers deliver world-class care.
What is Measure F? +
Measure F claims to limit health care prices to fixed city-government regulated costs. Instead, according to doctors, nurses (including Palo Alto Mayor Liz Kniss, a former nurse herself), public health experts and many others, the initiative will only reduce health care quality and access.
What would Measure F do? +
Measure F requires the City of Palo Alto to create a new health care bureaucracy that would take regulatory control over what local hospitals and other health care providers are allowed to charge. Organizations and individual practitioners who do not comply will face required rebates and the equivalent of fines, although those amounts will go to designated 3rd parties, not patients.
What impact would Measure F have on my health care? +
Palo Alto health care providers would be forced to make difficult financial decisions, which could include cuts to medical programs, services and personnel. Additionally, the initiative applies to local dentists, optometrists and other small specialty practices. The financial impacts are likely to force many providers to reduce services, close or relocate. It will also threaten funding that allows local health care providers to make community benefit grants to local nonprofits and provide care for low income families, including free and low-cost screenings, health education and wellness treatments. Access to care would be endangered.
What role would the City play in enforcing Measure F should it pass? +
The City of Palo Alto would be burdened with figuring out how to implement and enforce this new and complex scheme, at taxpayer expense, which could put other municipal services at risk. The new responsibilities would likely require additional staff or consultants with health care knowledge and expertise, something the City does not currently have.
What impact would Measure F have on my taxes? +
The City of Palo Alto would be responsible for implementing and enforcing Measure F. The City would need to increase funding to the Administrative Services Department, which could result in higher taxes or cuts to existing services.
How are Palo Alto providers currently regulated? +
Palo Alto providers are already highly regulated. In fact, Palo Alto hospitals are regulated by both the federal government and the State of California. Measure F would force the City to add another conflicting layer of bureaucracy to the health care regulatory landscape, which undermines ongoing efforts to increase efficiency and address health care costs.
Health care costs are high. Shouldn’t something be done to address them? +
Providers recognize that health care is costly and are always working to bring the cost down. Measure F makes things worse by restricting funding for health care programs and services, while mandating rebates that will not do anything to improve care or benefit patients.
How do Palo Alto providers ensure the delivery of high-quality health care? +
Delivering safe, high-quality health care is a top priority for Palo Alto providers, and they participate in robust, comprehensive infection reduction programs to ensure the delivery of quality care. For example, Stanford Health Care alone has more than 120 initiatives dedicated to the health and safety of patients and staff. Read more about these initiatives at https://stanfordhealthcarequality.com/
Who opposes Measure F? +
This initiative is opposed by a broad coalition of health care providers, community leaders, nonprofits, hospital staff and volunteers, patients and other concerned citizens who do not want access to quality local health care limited. Opponents of Measure F include Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Stanford Health Care, Kaiser Permanente, Mid-Peninsula Dental Society, Hospital Council of Northern and Central California and California Hospital Association.
How can I get involved with the Coalition? +
There are many ways to get involved. We will be sharing information throughout the campaign here on our website. Join the Protect Palo Alto coalition to show your opposition to Measure F and we will reach out to get you involved.