Reading the Props: 23 Continues the Labor-Dialysis Wars

Joe Mathews
Connecting California Columnist and Editor, Zócalo Public Square, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010)

Every two years, I read the full text of all statewide ballot propositions—because at least one Californian should.

Next is Proposition 23 

Prop 23 is mercifully short, at less than 2300 words. But it’s another meta-measure that is mostly about itself.

Prop 23 is a follow-up to the failed Prop 8 from 2018.  It’s another attempt by the healthcare workers union SEIU-UHW West, to impose new regulations on big dialysis companies, DaVita and Fresenius, in service of its attempts to organize unions at those companies. 

So the measure talks about requiring a licensed physician at each clinic, more reporting of data on infections, and written notice before the closing of clinics. But the real choice for voters is whether they want dialysis to be more regulated and unionized industry.

Because this ballot measure exists as a leverage point for that.

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