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CEO Message

CEO Message: As Political Landscape Shifts, Priorities for Hospitals Persist

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

The 2020 federal and state elections are now in the books (mostly). As of Thursday afternoon, at the federal level: 

  • The presidency remains up for grabs, with five key states working to finalize their votes: North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.  
  • Republicans are likely to retain control of the U.S. Senate with a thin margin, though there is a narrow path for Democrats.
  • Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives, though with a smaller margin.

And at the state level, the counting continues, but more is known. At this point: 

  • A local initiative to institute a 3% annual tax on the only hospital in Lynwood is trailing in the polls (CHA opposed this measure). 
  • On statewide ballot initiatives of interest, results are tracking below: 
    – Proposition 14, which funds stem cell research, is passing.  
    – Proposition 15 (split roll), which would raise taxes for commercial properties, is too close to call (CHA opposed this measure). 
    – Proposition 16, which would allow affirmative action in state admissions and employment, failed (CHA supported this measure). 
    – Proposition 22, which designates gig economy drivers as independent contractors, passed. 
    – Proposition 23, which would have more heavily regulated dialysis clinics, failed (CHA opposed this measure). 
  • Two Senate seats look like they will flip from Republican to Democrat. 
  • Assembly party makeup will remain virtually unchanged. 

All these changes underscore an indisputable concept that health care leaders have been sharing with politicians for years: No matter who is in office, no matter what party has control of what branch, the issues of importance to hospitals won’t change, because your mission to meet the needs of your communities does not change based on who wins elections.  

That’s why in the coming year, we’ll be focused on a few high-priority issues, including: additional COVID-19 relief, an integrated framework for pandemic response, enhanced coordination on PPE supply and distribution, preservation of Medicare and Medi-Cal resources for patient care, engagement on health care affordability, seismic mandate reform, and more. 

No matter what your personal politics, the hard work of advancing policies and laws that help hospitals do their work is best served when there is a balance of viewpoints, and good ideas can be honestly debated and refined. That tenet will serve as a strong foundation as we navigate the purple federal landscape and the deep blue state environment in 2021 and beyond. 

~ Carmela