California's Working Families Host National AFL-CIO Campaign for Health Care Reform Kick-Off
Working families urge state legislators to pass affordable health care for California before end of season
San Francisco, CA—As part of its annual Labor Day briefing today, the national AFL-CIO announced the launch of an historic new drive that will put the full force of 13 million AFL-CIO members and retirees behind winning secure, high quality health care for all by 2009. The announcement comes on the eve of California’s 2007 legislative session, which is expected to address the state’s broken health care system and provide affordable health care for all Californians this year.
National AFL-CIO Executive Vice-President Linda Chavez-Thompson joined California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski, San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano and local labor leaders this morning to announce the kick-off of this national campaign. Several local San Francisco residents were also on hand to tell their personal health care stories and to urge California legislators to pass real health care reform by end of session in mid-September.
This morning’s event was one of several being held in cities across the country today to ensure that health care reform is placed at the top of the national political agenda. In California, where health care reform has been at the top of the legislative agenda for most of the year, working families are asking
legislators to consider legislation only if it addresses three important issues:
• Bring health care costs back under control;
• Make health care affordable to get and affordable to use for all Californians; and
• Protect the health care benefits provided by pension funds
“Out-of control health care costs are crippling families, companies and communities in California and around the country,” Chavez-Thompson said. “Today the AFL-CIO launched a massive campaign based on the simple premise that no one in America should go without health care. We can take a giant leap toward that goal by passing reform that provides affordable health care to
every Californian this year.”
“Working families in California have been bankrupted by a broken health care system,” Pulaski said. “We cannot afford to wait any longer. Californians have been working for months to convince legislators that they must take action now and make affordable health care a reality for all. We can set a positive example for the rest of the country by passing real reform for all Californians this year.”
Earlier this summer, the California Labor Federation and its statewide allies for health care reform engaged in a statewide tour that included press conferences and rallies in San Diego, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Fresno, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Hundreds of participants shared their personal health care stories during the Road to Reform tour, and organizers delivered thousands of postcards to legislators demanding real health care reform.