Labor and consumer groups have launched a $40 million campaign for healthcare reform, seeking affordable quality healthcare in 2009.
Health Care for America Now launched in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and other cities Tuesday. Elizabeth Edwards, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the wife of former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, serves as a spokeswoman for the group, which includes Planned Parenthood, the Service Employees International Union, the Small Business Majority, United Food and Commercial Workers and the United Nurses Association of California.
This is the year, 2008, that Americans will decide whether next year we will either have the guarantee of quality affordable healthcare or continue to be left at the mercy of the private health insurance industryan industry that is charging us more, giving us less and putting company profits before our health, said Richard Kirsch, national campaign manager for the coalition, at a news conference in Washington.
The coalition plans to spend an initial $1.5 million on national advertising and another $25 million over the next five months on a media campaign and 100 organizers in 45 states. We should give people the option of keeping the coverage they have or having affordable public insurance, said Anthony Wright, executive director of based Health Access California, in Sacramento.
Coalition members also include the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Nurses Association.
The campaign launched in front of 735-bed Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, as that city grapples with a high rate of uninsured and underfunded emergency room visits, and at San Franciscos City Hall, where Mayor Gavin Newsom spoke about the citys year-old effort to provide affordable healthcare to the citys uninsured through an employer mandate and other subsidies. -- by Matthew DoBias and Rebecca Vesely
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