Farm Bureau opposes government-run healthcare system
» September 1, 2004 «
Saying a government-run healthcare system would punish both workers and employers, the California Farm Bureau Federation board of directors urges a "no" vote on Proposition 72.
The referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot would, if approved, effectively impose a healthcare tax by requiring employers to provide health insurance for employees.
"Proposition 72 imposes billions of dollars in costs on employers and workers alike," California Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli said. "What's even worse, the money will create a giant new state bureaucracy and set up an un-elected board to make crucial decisions about insurance coverage and costs.
"Expanding health coverage is a worthy goal," Pauli said, "but Proposition 72 creates vague mandates that will become a bureaucratic nightmare. Voters should reject this unwise measure."
He said Proposition 72 would impose burdensome new requirements on California farms.
"Our farmers and ranchers struggle daily against lower-cost producers in other states and nations," Pauli said. "We produce labor-intensive crops with low profit margins. Proposition 72 would wipe out those profit margins, hurting farmers and farmworkers alike."
California is the nation's top farm state, and more than 1 million California jobs depend on the state's farms and ranches.
Pauli said government should not intrude on Californians' health.
"Voters worry about a state government bureaucracy making healthcare decisions for them," he said. "They are right to worry. It's easy to see how a state-run system would lead to healthcare that is more expensive and less efficient."
He said the measure would also have widespread economic effects.
"No other state imposes this sort of mandate upon employers and workers," Pauli said. "Proposition 72 will encourage the job flight that California has worked so hard to stem.
"For many reasons, Proposition 72 is the wrong idea at the wrong time."
The California Farm Bureau Federation is the state's largest farm organization. A complete list of the Farm Bureau's ballot recommendations follows:
|Proposition 1A||Protection of Local Government Revenues||YES|
|Proposition 59||Public Records, Open Meetings||YES|
|Proposition 60||Election Rigths of Political Parties||NO|
|Proposition 60A||Surplus State Property||YES|
|Proposition 61||Children's Hospital Projects||(No Position)|
|Proposition 62||"Modified-Blanket" Primary Elections||YES|
|Proposition 63||Tax to Fund Expanded Mental Health Services||NO|
|Proposition 64||Reduce Frivolous Lawsuits||YES|
|Proposition 65||Local Government Funds and State Mandates||NO|
|Proposition 66||Limits on "Three Strikes" Law||NO|
|Proposition 67||Telephone Surcharge; Emergency Medical Services||NO|
|Proposition 68||Non-Tribal Gambling Expansion||NO|
|Proposition 69||DNA Samples||YES|
|Proposition 70||Tribal Gaming Contracts||NO|
|Proposition 71||Bonds for Stem Cell Research||NO|
|Proposition 72||Health Care Coverage Requirements||NO|
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