Editorial

July 5, 2022

Beware of cynical threats to dialysis care

Los Angeles Daily NewsBy Editorial Board

California voters keep beating back unfair, unequal health-care pay measures that arbitrarily attempt to rip off the public and make dialysis harder to find, time and time again at the ballot box. What makes the small, greedy union that keeps putting these measures up for a vote think that we are stupid and will be fooled the next time when we weren’t the last time?

Well, probably the answer to that is that the SEIU-UHW just figures that one of these days, if the union bosses keep at it, that we’ll simply get tired of saying no to their mean-spirited entreaties and that they’ll finally be able to slip one of their efforts by us.

So voters beware once again this November, because after the failure of statewide efforts, the union is now after the city of Los Angeles and a whole lot of other smaller Southern California cities with ballot measures aimed at fooling us and enriching them, all the while worsening health care for diabetics.

Here’s the way a coalition of other health care workers who opposed the latest skulduggery sees it: “The SEIU-UHW union has filed nine risky and inequitable ballot initiatives in nine Southern California cities aimed for the November 2022 ballot. The cities include Los Angeles, Downey, Inglewood, Long Beach, Monterey Park, Culver City, Baldwin Park, Duarte and Lynwood. The measures would set new, arbitrary pay requirements for some health care workers in some health care facilities in those nine cities while excluding the vast majority of other health care workers doing the same jobs. Health care workers are heroes, but these unequal pay measures are inequitable for workers, harmful and costly for patients and risky for our communities.”

In the Los Angeles case, the City Council there has foolishly backed the measure itself, even though it applies only to workers at private hospitals and dialysis clinics, and not at any public hospitals, urgent care centers, nursing homes or other medical facilities.

Here’s what we said two years ago, the last time the union tried a similar chicanery:

“Even though it seems everyone’s a public-health expert these days, California voters have no business — and presumably very little interest — in getting into the minutiae of health-clinic regulations in our state.

“Leave that to the experts, right? Or at least to lawmakers in Sacramento?

“Wrong, if you are a Golden State voter needing to decide on the propositions that will soon arrive on your vote-by-mail ballot.

“Just as you were forced to only two years ago with Proposition 8 in 2018, you are being asked with this year’s Proposition 23 to create, or decline to, new rules for dialysis clinics throughout California.”

Speaking of which — along with the city measures, the union will be back at us in November with a third stab at a statewide measure over-regulating and raising costs at dialysis clinics everywhere. “This measure is a despicable threat to patients and an abuse of the electoral system,” said DeWayne Cox, dialysis patient from Van Nuys. “This union leadership has no regard for dialysis patients like me who are already struggling to get the treatments we need to stay alive. They should be ashamed.”

And so they should be. But clearly they are not. The only way to protect California dialysis patients against this hideous onslaught against their health and pocketbooks is to keep fighting the good fight against these measures until the union finally gives up. Meanwhile, voter, beware.

No on 29: Stop Yet Another Dangerous Dialysis Proposition, sponsored by patients, doctors, nurses and dialysis providers. Committee major funding from DaVita, Fresenius Medical Care, and U.S. Renal Care.

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