Prop 4: Children’s hospital bonds initiative


Matthew Carter, Staff Writer

What it does

Proposition 4 was an ambitious and beneficial proposition passed on November 6th, 2018. The proposition allowed $1.5 billion in funding for the Children’s Hospital Bond act. When the proposition was passed, 73% of funds went to non profit hospitals, 18% went to five University of California general acute hospitals, and 10% to pediatric service at public and private hospitals. 

Proposition 4 is the third and highest bond funding children’s hospitals in California ever. It’s followed by California proposition 3, a $980 million bond measure, as well as proposition 61, a $750 million bond measure.


Supporters of Prop 4 emphasized the good it did for the medical community. By providing child medical facilities with finances to renovate, construct, and equip hospitals with medical equipment, Prop 4 would allow doctors to save lives more efficiently and keep their methods up-to-date.

“As new breakthroughs in medicine enable children with complex health conditions to grow and thrive, the demand for specialized pediatric care is increasing. … Think about what your cellphone was capable of 10 years ago and what it’s capable of today,” said Ann-Louise Kuhns, chairperson of the California Children’s Hospital Association.


The opposition to Prop 4 argued that with the additional estimated $1.4 billion interest on bonds over a 35 year period, it would cost a total of $2.9 billion for the state to pay off the original amount. This would be an estimated $82 million from the government per year, an extra burden that California taxpayers didn’t need in light of the scanty benefits promised.

“This measure is intended to primarily to benefit the same hospitals that are funding the “yes” campaign. It… is the third bond measure sponsored by the California Children’s Hospital Association, which represents the eight private hospitals that will receive 72 percent of the money. If the association could have persuaded the Legislature to put this measure on the ballot, it would undoubtedly have done so. Lobbying is less expensive than mounting an initiative campaign, ” said Elizabeth Wall Ralston, former president of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles.

Voting result

The proposition passed with a majority vote on yes, with 7.5 million voters for yes and 4.5 million for no. Even with the majority voting for the $1.5 billion towards children’s hospitals, proposition 4, like all propositions, has it’s pros and cons.

Despite the tax dollars that would go into this fund, the pros outweighed the cons which was shown by the 62.69% of voters who voted to approve this proposition. Since the proposition has passed, it has proved to be a smart decision. Especially in these times of crisis, the medical field is more important now than ever before.