With the signatures of more than 800,000 California voters, a sweeping initiative targeting managed-care abuses has been placed on the state's November general election ballot.
The Patient Protection Act is sponsored by a consumer coalition led by the California Nurses Association and backed by consumer advocate Ralph Nader. The coalition contends the measure will safeguard healthcare at no cost to taxpayers; it's mounting a campaign costing $8 million to $10 million, a spokesman said.
Frank Schubert, senior vice president of Goddard Claussen/First Tuesday, a Sacramento, Calif., public relations firm hired to work against the initiative, said HMOs and healthcare organizations expect to spend about $7.5 million to defeat it.
The California Healthcare Committee on Issues, a lobbying group, has assessed all nonpublic hospitals in the state $10 per staffed bed to battle the initiative.