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Ballot battle brews over hospital pricing in CA

BuzzFeed, February 13, 2014
A California ballot initiative seeking to lower hospital costs is currently gathering signatures, but a state hospital organization argues the efforts are more about bolstering union membership than making health care more affordable. The Fair Healthcare Pricing Act, pushed by the labor union Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, would cap hospital's gross charges at no more than 25% above the actual cost of providing care. "These prices are just outrageous," Steve Trossman, a spokesman for SEIU, told BuzzFeed. "We're just hearing story after story after story about this problem." The group cites high costs like $21 for a single aspirin at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles in one of its ads.