July 08, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Access to Care Advocacy
The ballot initiative to maintain the taxes on the wealthiest Californians to prevent billions in cuts to education and other vital services has officially qualified for the November 2016 ballot. The California Secretary of State announced that the initiative could move forward as enough valid signatures were submitted and verified. This measure will generate an average of $8 billion per year, and provide up to $2 billion annually to improve access to health care for low-income children and their families.
“Doctors and other health care providers across the state are supporting this initiative because it will provide critical funds to improve access to health care for low-income children and their families,” said California Medical Association (CMA) President-Elect Ruth Haskins, M.D. “This initiative will help our state provide the care vulnerable kids need to stay healthy and thrive.”
The California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act of 2016 – now known as Proposition 55 – will temporarily extend for 12 years current tax rates on the wealthiest Californians – singles earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $500,000 a year. The measure will direct funds specifically to K-12 public education and community colleges, while also allocating funds to health care for low-income children and their families. The measure contains strict accountability requirements.
Budget forecasts show that unless California extends these taxes on the wealthy, in the first year alone our public schools will lose nearly $4 billion and our state budget will face a deficit of more than $4 billion.
A recent Public Policy Institute of California survey found that 64 percent of California voters support extending the income tax rates on the wealthiest individuals and couples to spare education and other vital services from a repeat round of devastating budget cuts.
CMA is part of the broad and diverse coalition of teachers, physicians, school employees, parents, working families, community organizations and business groups supporting this ballot initiative. The coalition includes CMA, the Association of California School Administrators, California Federation of Teachers, California Hospital Association, California School Employees Association, California Teachers Association, Service Employees International Union California State Council, SEIU 1000 and numerous others.
CMA is urging physicians to add their names in support of the California Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act today to give our kids the quality schools and health care they deserve. To do so, click here.
For more information, visit www.yeson55.com.