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Sweeping Minimum Wage Bill Would Decimate Health Care in California

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On Tuesday, dozens of supporters of a bill that would raise the minimum wage for all health care workers in California to $25 an hour, starting Jan. 1, 2024, descended on Sacramento. Their message: This bill is needed to address staffing shortages in hospitals and other health care settings.  

Click on the image to watch the full video.

We need your help — see bold below. 

Without question, health care workers are the backbone of California’s health care delivery system and they deserve fair and competitive compensation. 

The bill Tuesday’s rally was seeking to advance, however, is far too big (it includes all health care employees — not just hospital workers; all contractors; and a minimum 3.5% increase every year in perpetuity) and would be implemented far too fast ($8 billion in additional health care costs just a few months from now) at a time when more than 50% of hospitals are losing money every day to care for patients and one in five hospitals is at risk of closure.   

After the closure of Madera Community Hospital earlier this year, several hospitals filing for bankruptcy in the past few months, and far-reaching reductions in health care services and jobs at many hospitals throughout the state, California cannot stand to see another hospital go under. 

Put another way, this bill would create far too great of a risk for underserved Californians to lose access to critical hospital services. Any proposal that would cripple the ability of hospitals to provide lifesaving and life-changing care should not be considered until the crisis facing hospitals abates. 

Based on Tuesday’s rally in Sacramento, supporters are throwing everything they have behind this bill. Hospital leaders must do the same to protect access to care for the state’s most vulnerable, preserve health care jobs, and ensure equal treatment of workers.  

We need your help now to call or text your state senator — by May 26 — to ask them to oppose Senate Bill 525 (Durazo, D-Los Angeles). Please share with your senator how this bill would jeopardize your organization’s ability to continue to deliver care and negatively affect the community you serve. 

To support your outreach, the following materials are available: 

A floor vote on SB 525 is as little as two weeks away. Your voices matter and are vital to help senators understand the devastating impact that this bill will have on the patients and communities that rely on your hospital in countless ways.