Millions of dollars are being spent on a California proposition that impacts roughly 70,000 Californians.
Prop 8 is being called the most expensive item on the November ballot, not only in the state but in the nation.
Prop 8 is about state regulation for kidney dialysis clinics. According to the ballot, it “limits the charges to 115 percent of the costs for direct patient care and quality improvement costs, including training, patient education, and technical support.”
So far, the two sides have already poured in close to $120 million to the campaign.
Those sides include the Service Employees International Union, one of the largest health care labor groups in California, and DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care, the two companies that control the majority of the dialysis market in California.
Proponents say Prop 8 will increase quality care to patients.
Amar Bajwa is a dialysis patient who complains of understaffing at the clinic he goes to three times a week.
“This is going to give me and the people taking care of me enough power to do what we want to do,” Bajwa said.
But opponents argue Prop 8 will make it harder for clinics to stay afloat, which in turn could make it harder for patients to get the care they need.
“This is about labor and dollars, not about healthcare,” says Ted Mazer, M.D. and former president of the California Medical Association.
Dr. Mazer says Prop 8 is being improperly used in a labor dispute over unionization and he fears patients’ healthcare is jeopardized because of it.
San Diegans will get to vote on Prop 8 and others in the general election on November 6.