Friday, July 06, 2012

Heath Bill/2081/SF Gross Receipts Tax

Last week I sent an email indicating that I think the Affordable Care Act while not perfect and short on cost controls had potential to drive down

cost, reduce the number of uninsureds and provide better quality health care. Please see below a comment from Les Bowne a friend in Massachusetts


I agree with you 100%. In Massachusetts, as you know, it has been a few years since we implemented something similar. It took about 3 years for the cost savings to start being realized and the catalyst was the state’s imposed limits on healthcare insurance rate increases, which forced everyone to start finding ways to cut costs, especially the hospitals. My company’s increases over the past three years have been at about the general rate of inflation. It is amazing how different the costs are at different hospitals for the same procedures. When this became known and widely publicized, the “rogue” providers with the highest costs stuck out like sore thumbs. Incentives were provided for patients to go elsewhere. Now everyone is looking to find ways to cut costs while remaining competitive in terms of patient satisfaction.

When the easiest cost reductions have been made, we will have to look beyond this to more politically sensitive ones, like tort reform. Better that the money gets spend on providing healthcare than paying lawyer.


Last week was a difficult week for Small Business California. We were the sponsor of SB 2081 which would allow solicitation of accredited investors. Now you may be saying the JOBS bill passed in Washington already did that. Well the rules have not been written by the SEC but it is expected they will allow this.

What makes our bill different is that we put in place protections for Accredited Investors that most likely will not exist under the JOBS bill.

For example our bill requires a suitability study and would limit investments to 10% of an investors net worth[excluding the investors equity in their principal residence]

It further requires the issuer to have a reasonable belief after reasonable inquiry that each investor is an accredited investor.

This bill passed the Assembly on a 66 to 2 vote. It was being heard at the Senate Banking and Finance Committee. While we received a positive vote from Chairman Juan Vargus and Senator Noreen Evans we had opposition from Senator Christine Kehoe and surprisingly Republican Sam Blakeslee. I say surprisingly because the Republican Caucus recommended a do pass.

We also had a recommendation of do pass from the staff of the Committee.

We had the support of Alex Padilla but he did not get to Committee in time to vote.

The big surprise was Lois Wolk who supported our bill. She is currently the target of a very negative piece by the Sacramento Bee. She therefore recused herself.

Obviously we were disappointed because unless we get this passed at some point investors will have very little protections in the JOBS bill.

We are concerned that if the JOBS Bill goes into effect there may be scandals and we may see the bill overturned down the road.

For those of you in SF we will be sending a letter to the Board of Supervisors today supporting the gross receipts tax and asking that the Mayor’s proposal be the basis of doing this. If you would like to sign onto the letter please let me know by 4 today. If you need another copy of the letter please let me know. I don’t need you to do anything except giving me authorization to do this.

Scott Hauge


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