Not Just the White House: Health Care

In the days before the 2016 election HeadCount is running a new series titled “Not Just the White House,” a run down of ballot initiatives across the 50 states. This installment focuses on health care proposals. The first installment was on marijuana initiatives.

On Tuesday, November 8th, 4 states will have new health care measures on their ballots, changing the way health care is delivered in California, Colorado, Nevada and Washington. From drug prices to universal health care (yeah, you heard me), these states are doing it all.

California (Medi-Cal Program)

Proposition 52 pertains to California’s Medi-Cal program, a program that helps low-income patients pay for medical costs. In order to receive the federal funds, California has match whatever the D.C. gives them. To find the matching funds, the state dedicates certain hospital fees for funding Medi-Cal. Passage of proposal would affect 3 different aspects of the Hospital Fees

  • Require voter approval to change hospital fee program
  • Hospital fee program would continue past January 1, 2018
  • Require a 2/3rds majority of the California Legislature to ever end the program.

California (Drug Price Standards)

Proposition 61 would require that state agencies pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Currently, state agencies negotiate the prices of drugs independently or at least directly with the manufacturers to get discounts. This leads to inconsistent drug prices, and this legislation aims to standardize the prices..

Colorado (ColoradoCare System)

Passing of Amendment 69 would ensure the creation of ColoradoCare, a universal health care system that would finance health care services and coverage of health care for residents of Colorado. The system would have a 21-member board, which would vote on future trustees and increases or decreases in taxes. Speaking of taxes, ColoradoCare would require a 10% payroll tax: employers would pay 6.67% and employees would pay 3.33%. Non-payroll income residents would pay a 10% taxation. The system also does not prohibit people from purchasing private health care, it just gives you more options.

Nevada (Medical Equipment Sales Tax)

Question 4 would require that Nevada Legislature exempt a bunch of types of medical equipment from sales and use taxes. The equipment would include oxygen tanks and concentrators, ventilators, CPAP machines, nebulizers, drug infusion devices, feeding pumps, infant apnea monitors, hospital beds, bath and shower aids, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, and crutches.

Washington (Dental Plans)

Advisory Vote 14 would impose a $25 to $50 tax on those with stand-alone family dental plans. The money gained from these assessments would establish a new source of revenue for stand-alone plans and fund dental operations.