Dear Friends,

Thank you for visiting Dennis Chiu for El Camino Hospital. I am running to ensure that your tax dollars and more hospital dollars are spent on you and our community’s healthcare needs.

In May 2011, the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury made the shocking legal finding that “There is no one who is accountable to the District taxpayers as to how taxpayer monies are spent.” (Grand Jury Report, p. 9 – Finding 2)

Although El Camino Hospital’s doctors, nurses, technicians and service professionals have been providing excellent healthcare, the leadership of the hospital’s publicly elected board needs to improve its vision and commitment for giving back to the community.

From 2006 – 2011, the El Camino Hospital taxed $110 Million from local taxpayers and only spent $14 Million on local community benefit programs. That’s simply not enough, if you consider that during the same period, the hospital received approximately $2.5 Billion in Net Patient Revenue (not including your tax dollars, other income or investment income).

The current leadership of the El Camino Hospital is laboring under two mistaken beliefs: (1) that the only source of community benefit dollars should come from your tax dollars and not the hospital’s vast net patient revenues, and (2) that a California law, the “Gann Appropriations Limit” (Gann), prevents the hospital from spending more tax dollars for the community benefit.

Both beliefs are faulty. Nothing prevents a non-profit healthcare corporation from giving monies directly received for services to community benefit programs — that’s what non-profits do. There is no court ruling that Gann applies to hospital districts, and in fact, several taxing hospital districts in California do not apply Gann.

There is also a very real possibility that these beliefs are the result of unavoidable conflicts of interest created by reports, paid for by the hospital corporation that lean toward hospital corporation interests. The taxpayer elected district board can’t hire its own consultants from the point of view of residents because the district board voted to automatically transfer all taxpayer money to the hospital corporation.

If elected, I would correct these faulty beliefs by (1) leading that El Camino Hospital to spend more of your tax dollars on you, (2) give more community benefit dollars from the hospital’s non-taxpayer revenue, and (3) create a small operating budget for the publicly elected district board to receive expert reports where there isn’t pressure to make recommendations in favor of the hospital corporation and looks at issues on behalf of the residents and taxpayers.

Thank you again for being interested in better healthcare for our community, and I would be honored to receive your vote by absentee ballot or on November 6th.

Sincerely,
Dennis Chiu