State Props 3 & 4
Posted by Comments (5)on Saturday, October 18, 2008
Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital
Prop 3 Children’s Hospital Bond Act
It’s pathetic that the state of California must resort to this in order to provide care for dying children. The fact that we must take on this debt, with the state already deep in the red, is a genuine shame, and almost too much to bear. But it’s the right thing to do.
Prop. 3 would authorize the issuance of roughly $1 billion in bonds for hospitals that treat children with life-threatening illnesses. Money from Prop. 3 bonds would pay for buildings, equipment and similar capital expenses at five UC hospitals and eight nonprofit hospitals. All of the money is earmarked to improve and expand access to child health care.
The vote comes only four years after passage of a similar $750 million bond. Since that time, as you may have heard, the costs of doing any kind of business in this industry have skyrocketed. Supporters say these institutions can barely cover their operating expenses much less pay for necessary capital improvements.
California is already $120 billion in the hole from outstanding general-obligation bonds alone. We’ve sold bonds to pay for infrastructure like highways and water treatment systems, and even to pay off older debt. This is no way to run a state. This is no way to finance things like children’s hospitals.
Let this serve as more evidence that the state and the nation need comprehensive health care reform. But don’t let sick kids pay for our leaders’ failures.
Prop 4 Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy
Don’t be surprised if you’re hit by a wave of déjà vu in the voting booth—the parental notification proposition is baaack. If passed, this would amend the state constitution to require notification of a minor girl’s parents or legal guardian that she is planning to have an abortion, and a 48-hour waiting period following notification. The fresh coat of paint over this twice-rejected proposal recasts it as “Sarah’s Law,” “Sarah” being a 15-year-old Texan who died in 1994 following a botched abortion. (It’s been widely reported that “Sarah” was actually in a common-law marriage, would not have been considered a minor and therefore would not have been helped by Prop. 4. No matter.)
Proponents say this year’s model has more options, including the possibility that a judge waive notification if the girl demonstrates enough maturity or the abortion is in her best interest. To blow your own mind, try imagining an underage girl going through the trauma of an unwanted pregnancy, who can’t turn to the adults in her life, but will stand up in a courtroom of strangers to fight to have an abortion.
The spin on Sarah’s story is that older men prey on underage girls and then cart them off to an abortion clinic to cover up their sexual crimes. It’s all very Law & Order, but the simple truth is this is just a cynical ploy. Bury Proposition 4 alongside its similarly disingenuous predecessors.
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