OPINION PIECE BY LINDA SUTTER

MEASURE 45 HEALTHCARE INSURANCE RATE CHANGES; INITIATIVE STATUE

Initiative would explicitly prohibit the use of a person’s prior insurance coverage or a person’s credit history as a criterion for determining an insurance rate or for determining eligibility for an insurance policy. In order to fund the added costs required to administer this Initiative, health insurance companies would be required to pay a fee to cover these costs.

UNLIKE our neighboring state of Oregon, insurance rates are based upon credit history and previous health conditions. In essence, if you have had a bankruptcy, due to excessive medical bills on file for 6 years, your medical insurance could sky rocket because of your credit history….

MEASURE 46 DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING OF DOCTORS. MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LAWSUITS; INITIATIVE STATUTE

This initiative was developed after two children were killed by a driver under the influence of alcohol and abused prescription drugs.

If approved by the voters, the initiative will:

Increase the state’s cap on non-economic damages that can be assessed in medical negligence lawsuits to over 1 million dollars from the current cap of $250,000 dollars. It will require drug and alcohol testing of doctors and reporting the positive tests to the California Medical Board. It will require the California Medical Board to suspend the doctors pending investigations of positive tests and take disciplinary action if the doctor was found impaired while on duty. It will require health care practitioners to report any doctor suspected of drug or alcohol impairment or medical negligence.

In my opinion if this law is passed it could be hazardous for those of us who do not abuse our medical prescriptions. If passed, doctors will less likely prescribe a much needed drug. It is already difficult to attain pain medication when needed. This law could make attaining pain medication impossible. I don’t think going after the doctor because a drunk choose to take prescription medication and drink causing a fatal accident is the way our country should address these types of situations.

Remember the initiative was developed because two children were killed by a driver under the influence of alcohol and drugs. It did not say the driver was a doctor.

MEASURE 47 CRIMINAL SENTENCES. MISDEMEANOR PENALTIES.

This measure would require misdemeanor sentencing instead of felony for the following crimes:

Shoplifting, where the value of property stolen does not exceed 950 dollars.

Grand theft where property does not exceed 950 dollars.

Receiving stolen property, where the value of the property does not exceed $950

Forgery, where the value of forged check, bond or bill does not exceed $950

Fraud, where the value of the fraudulent check, draft or order does not exceed $950

Writing a bad check, where the value of the check does not exceed $950

Personal use of most illegal drugs

Currently if you are pulled over by law enforcement and are so kind enough to allow them to search your car because you have nothing to hide, and when they conduct a search of your car and find a pill container belonging to your sister, aunt, mother, friend or father, that has two narcotic pills, you end up with a felony charge for possession of a narcotic. Most people accept a plea because they do not have the money to continue in court. This by no means should be a felony. What happens is the county spends hundreds of thousands of dollars for representation, which are tax payer dollars. I ask you is it worth that much for the above listed crimes which are considered non- violent?  Think of the money we could save and the court room space as well as the jail or prison space.

MEASURE 1 WATER BOND FUNDING FOR WATER QUALITY, SUPPLY, TREATMENT AND STORAGE PROJECTS

Supporters Say

  • Prop. 1 supports a comprehensive state water plan and provides a reliable supply of water for farms, businesses, and communities, especially during droughts.
  • Prop. 1 does not raise taxes. It is fiscally responsible and contains strict accountability requirements and public disclosure to ensure that the money is properly spent.

Opponents Say

  • Too much of Prop. 1 wrongly focuses on building more dams. No amount of water storage will produce more rain and snow.
  • Prop. 1 does little for drought relief in the near term and doesn’t adequately promote regional water self-sufficiency or reduce our reliance on an already water-deprived Delta ecosystem.
  • That says it all in one basket. Do you want your taxes increased or do you want money in your pocket. We live in Del Norte County, we don’t have to worry about our water supply but we do have to worry about placing food in our families mouth. I, for one, do not intend in supporting the fat asses in public office

MEASURE 2 STATE BUDGET. BUDGET STABILIZATION ACCOUNT LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

  • This is the most convoluted, and vague measure on the ballot, which requires a thorough research on how it was placed on the ballot alone. The measure does not speak to restricted spending or discretionary spending.  And, the way it is worded alone is a pretty good indicator the legislative body cannot identify the fact California is in a drought economically speaking. Their idea of rainy day stabilization is about as dry as the reading of it, which again dry and drought go hand in hand. So what would you vote for, somebody who talks about how much money they are going to have for rainy day spending or your pocketbook?

 

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