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January 20, 2012

Contact: Shannan Velayas
(916) 653-6575

Hospital Initiative Enters Circulation

Limits on Hospital Charges. Initiative Statute.

SACRAMENTO - Secretary of State Debra Bowen today announced that the proponents of a new initiative may begin collecting petition signatures for their measure.

The Attorney General prepares the legal title and summary that is required to appear on initiative petitions. When the official language is complete, the Attorney General forwards it to the proponents and to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then provides calendar deadlines to the proponents and to county elections officials, and the initiative may be circulated for signatures. The Attorney General’s official title and summary for the measure is as follows:

LIMITS ON HOSPITAL CHARGES. INITIATIVE STATUTE. Limits hospital charges to 125 percent of hospital’s good faith reasonable estimate of actual cost of service or item provided. Requires hospitals to give refunds when total charges for the year exceed 125 percent of total patient care expenses. Adjusts charge limits as needed to account for hospital’s losses from treating uninsured and low-income patients. Requires hospitals to provide new annual patient care expense and revenue reports. Exempts children’s hospitals, public hospitals, certain hospitals operated by health care plan providers, and certain nonprofit hospitals considered part of safety-net health system. Authorizes penalties for non-compliance. Fiscal impact: It is the opinion of the Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance that the measure could result in a substantial net change in state or local finances if adopted, given the magnitude of the changes proposed in this measure. (11-0082.)

The Secretary of State's tracking number for this measure is 1557 and the Attorney General's tracking number is 11-0082.

The proponents for this measure, Fabunimi Sands and Tina McClain, must collect signatures of 504,760 registered voters – the number equal to five percent of the total votes cast for governor in the 2010 gubernatorial election – in order to qualify it for the ballot. The proponents have 150 days to circulate petitions for this measure, meaning the signatures must be collected by June 18, 2012.

The initiative proponents can be reached at (916) 442-2952.

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