Healthcare and the Ballot Box


Your “no” position on Proposition 67 is disappointing (editorials, Oct. 9 and Oct. 17). California’s emergency rooms are in dire straits. Proposition 67 would raise $550 million to keep emergency rooms open. Fact: Los Angeles County has lost six emergency rooms this year. Fact: Statewide, over 65 emergency rooms have shut in the last decade, and more close each month.

Emergency rooms are the great equalizers. Rich or poor, employed or not, insurance or no insurance, when that ambulance pulls into the hospital, you want to know that the doors will be open and qualified physicians and nurses will be there to treat you. Proposition 67 would do that.

Prop. 67 also funds community clinics and health centers, which provide vital services to the uninsured who might otherwise depend on emergency rooms for care.


Though Proposition 67 may not be perfect, this is the case of the perfect being the enemy of the good. How many people should suffer or die waiting for a “national discussion of how to more equitably spread the cost of healthcare among individuals, businesses and government”? I urge all voters to vote for Proposition 67 and save lives and emergency care.

Susan Fleischman MD

Medical Director

Venice Family Clinic


I just completed my absentee ballot. There are 17 state and county measures to vote on. Seven of these relate to health issues. These include worthwhile efforts to improve emergency care, children’s hospitals, mental health coverage and insurance. The measures seek additional funding through bonds, increased phone taxes, increased county taxes and additional taxes on the rich.

When over a third of ballot measures relate to health, doesn’t it suggest that the healthcare system is broken? Isn’t what’s needed is a major overhaul?

What California needs is a comprehensive, integrated healthcare system that addresses the issues raised on the ballot. We need a healthcare system that provides for all Californians, that includes emergency services and that addresses long-term planning for infrastructure such as buildings and adequate hospital staffing.

I voted against most of these measures. Not because they weren’t worthwhile. But because the system is broken. I don’t think a piecemeal approach to healthcare crises is the best response. My apologies go to the people who worked hard to get these measures on the ballot.

Debora Wilson RN

Long Beach