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Make Your Voice Heard California Statewide November 2, 2004 General Election
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  Title and Summary | Analysis | Text of Proposed Laws

ARGUMENTS AND REBUTTALS

Proposition 67

Emergency Medical Services.
Funding. Telephone Surcharge.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.

ARGUMENT in Favor of
Proposition 67

Firefighters, paramedics, doctors, and nurses agree that passage of Prop. 67 is essential to maintain emergency medical care in California.

Every day thousands of Californians are victims of heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, and other medical emergencies. For many, rapid response emergency treatment by a paramedic, doctor, or nurse is the difference between life and death.

YES on Prop. 67 will make sure that rapid response emergency medical care is available when you and your family need it most.

The Problem:

We are facing a crisis in emergency care. According to government reports, there are 64 fewer hospital emergency rooms and trauma centers available for patients in California than there were just a decade ago. Experts predict that many more emergency rooms and trauma centers will close. Children, families, and seniors will lose access to doctors, nurses, critical medical equipment, medicines, and essential emergency care.

If an emergency room closes near your home, place of work, or along the routes you drive, the time it takes for an ambulance to get you to a doctor could double, triple, or worse. In an emergency, every second is critical.

Emergency rooms throughout California are severely overcrowded. Patients face long lines and wait times. Firefighters, paramedics, doctors, and nurses are overwhelmed and lack the resources to provide quality lifesaving care that every patient deserves.

The Solution:

A YES vote on Prop. 67 will provide needed funds to help:

  • Keep hospital emergency rooms, trauma centers, and health clinics open and operational
  • Prevent long lines and wait times at local emergency rooms
  • Attract and retain highly skilled physicians, nurses, and medical staff at our local emergency rooms and trauma centers
  • Provide critical emergency medical equipment and technology
  • Support local health clinics that treat non-emergency patients and preserve our emergency rooms for real emergencies.
  • Equip and train firefighters and paramedics who are often the first to respond and provide medical care in emergencies
  • Upgrade our 911 emergency telephone system

Safeguards to ensure funds are properly spent:

Prop. 67 funds emergency medical care with a modest increase to the existing surcharge on telephone use for the 911 system. Prop. 67 caps the amount a phone company can bill residential telephone customers for the new surcharge at 50 cents per month. The new surcharge does not apply to out-of-state long distance calls, and senior citizens and others on basic lifeline phone rates are completely exempt from the additional cost.

For just pennies each month we can preserve emergency care for California's children, families, and seniors. None of the money from Prop. 67 can be taken away by the Legislature to be used for other purposes.

You never know when you will need a paramedic, emergency room doctor, or nurse. YES on Prop. 67 will make sure that emergency medical care is available when you and your family need it most.

SAVE EMERGENCY CARE. SAVE LIVES.

Please join firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and patients in voting YES on Prop. 67.

For more information, visit www.saveemergencycare.org

DARLENE BRADLEY, RN, President
California Emergency Nurses Association

MICHAEL J. SEXTON, M.D., President-elect
California Medical Association

CARMELA CASTELLANO, Chief Executive Officer
California Primary Care Association

REBUTTAL to Argument in Favor of Proposition 67

Respected health care advocates, the Congress of California Seniors, the California Sheriffs' Association, and the emergency care workers who run the 911 system all OPPOSE PROP. 67 because 90% of the funds go to large health care corporations and other special interests—which means:

  • No new emergency rooms or trauma centers.
  • No money to upgrade existing emergency rooms.
  • No provisions to reduce emergency response times. LESS THAN 1% OF THE MONEY GOES TO THE 911 EMERGENCY SYSTEM.

Prop. 67 is a $540 MILLION PHONE TAX—another MISLEADING attempt to give taxpayer money to special interests. READ THE FINE PRINT—and see how misleading it is:

  • Supporters claim it's "a modest increase" in phone taxes—but it actually INCREASES YOUR PHONE TAXES BY 400%.
  • Supporters claim that seniors are exempt, but more than 1 MILLION SENIOR CITIZENS will be affected.
  • Supporters claim the tax rates are capped, but there are NO CAPS ON CELL PHONE OR SMALL BUSINESS PHONE TAXES.

Prop. 67 DOES NOT PROVIDE HEALTH INSURANCE to any of the millions of Californians who do not have any. It gives millions to health corporations, but DOES NOTHING TO REDUCE PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS OR HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS.

And because there are NO MANDATORY AUDITS OR FINANCIAL CONTROLS, there's potential for waste and fraud.

Prop. 67 won't solve California's health care problems, but it will RAISE YOUR PHONE TAXES BY 400%.

Say NO to the PHONE TAX. Vote NO on 67.

ANGELA MORA, Founder
Office of the Patient Advocate

ROBERT T. DOYLE, President California State Sheriffs' Association

DR. CHARLES J. SUPPLE, M.D.

 

ARGUMENT Against
Proposition 67

Prop. 67 is really a phone tax—a $540 MILLION TAX INCREASE that will likely increase in the future.

If Prop. 67 passes, we will get HIGHER TAXES, but that's only part of the story:

1) It's a 400% TAX INCREASE that consumers would have to pay every year.
2) NO CAP ON CELL PHONE TAXES—the more you talk, the more taxes you'll pay.
3) NO CAP ON SMALL BUSINESS PHONE TAXES.
4) More than 1 million seniors, many of whom live on fixed incomes, will be affected by the phone tax.

LESS THAN 1% OF THE MONEY FROM PROP. 67 WILL GO TO THE 911 SYSTEM. This initiative is a scam. The California 911 emergency dispatchers who run the 911 system DON'T support Prop. 67.

THERE ARE NO ADEQUATE FINANCIAL CONTROLS OR AUDITS. Even though this is a massive half-billion dollar tax increase, it contains no mandatory financial audits to make sure the money is spent properly. In addition to the potential for waste and fraud, Prop. 67 will require millions of dollars per year in ongoing administrative costs that the state cannot afford.

THIS INITIATIVE IS MISLEADING.

90% of the money goes directly to special interest groups.

READ THE FINE PRINT, HERE'S WHAT YOU'LL FIND OUT:

1) This is really a $540 million phone tax increase;
2) No cap on cell phones;
3) No cap on small businesses;
4) More than 1 million seniors will be forced to pay higher taxes;
5)No mandatory financial audits;
6) California's sheriffs and 911 emergency dispatchers oppose the measure because it is misleading and doesn't do what it says it does.

Listen to what respected voices across California think about the phone tax:

  • California's 911 emergency dispatchers (CALNENA)oppose Prop. 67.
  • The California Taxpayers' Association and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association oppose Prop. 67 because it's a 400% ($540 million per year) phone tax increase.
  • The California Chamber of Commerce says it will hurt our economy and drive businesses from our state.
  • The Congress of California Seniors opposes it because it will force seniors living on fixed incomes to pay higher taxes.
  • The California State Sheriffs' Association says Prop. 67 doesn't do what it promises to do.

CALIFORNIA ALREADY HAS SOME OF THE HIGHEST TAXES IN THE COUNTRY. Just when our economy is starting to bounce back, this huge, half-billion dollar tax increase could harm businesses, hurt seniors, and gouge consumers -damaging our economy. WITH NO CAP ON CELL PHONES OR BUSINESSES, THE MORE YOU TALK, THE MORE TAXES YOU HAVE TO PAY.

VOTE NO ON THE PHONE TAX.

L.W. "CHIP" YARBOROUGH, President
The California Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (CALNENA)

H.L. "HANK" LACAYO, President
Congress of California Seniors

LARRY MCCARTHY, President
California Taxpayers' Association

REBUTTAL to Argument Against Proposition 67

Before voting on Prop. 67, ask yourself:

Who do you trust to protect quality emergency health care for you and your family? Firefighters, paramedics, doctors, and nurses OR phone companies?

Out-of-state phone companies and cell phone companies are bankrolling the campaign to defeat Prop. 67 and deny essential funding for emergency services.

According to the Secretary of State, the top 5 contributors to the campaign against Prop. 67 are:

1. SBC (Texas)
2. Verizon (New York)
3. T-Mobile (Washington)
4. AT&T Wireless (Washington)
5. Sprint (Kansas)

The opponents of Prop. 67 use misleading statistics and scare tactics. Prop. 67 is a modest and sensible initiative that firefighters, paramedics, doctors, and nurses agree will save lives.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

FACT: Prop. 67 caps the surcharge a phone company can add to residential telephone bills at 50 per month- a maximum of $6 per year.

FACT: The cost to cell phone users is minimal-if you pay $30 a month, Prop. 67 will cost you 90.

FACT: Prop. 67 completely exempts senior citizens on basic lifeline phone service-they will not pay a dime.

FACT: Prop. 67 provides for audits to ensure funds are properly spent and prohibits the Legislature and phone companies from raiding these funds.

Voters have a clear choice: watch our emergency medical care system unravel OR vote YES ON PROP. 67 to ensure victims of heart attacks, strokes, car accidents, and other emergencies receive life-saving emergency care.

SAVE EMERGENCY CARE. SAVE LIVES. YES ON PROP. 67.

LOU STONE, Vice President
California Professional Firefighters

RAMON JOHNSON, M.D., Past Chair
California Emergency Medical Services Commission

PAUL KIVELA, M.D., President
California Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians



Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.


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