Contact: Sandra Jackson at 916-325-1550
SACRAMENTO – Together for Health Care – a diverse coalition consisting of health providers, consumer advocates, labor unions, educators, health plans, and business organizations – today launched a television advertising campaign as part of an ongoing effort to advance the cause of comprehensive health care reform in California. The spots are available by going to the Together for Health Care website.
The advertising campaign and web site are the latest moves by the Coalition member organizations - often on opposite sides of the table on health policy issues – who came together in February with the unifying imperative to support the enactment of comprehensive health care reform in 2007.
In the first of a series of planned TV ads, a practicing emergency physician discusses the changing nature of health care coverage, and encourages the governor and legislature to pass meaningful reform legislation this year. Over the coming weeks, this ad will be supplemented by others in which real Californians make the case for reforming health care this year. The ads will air on broadcast affiliates and cable networks around the state.
“If we’re going to see comprehensive reform this year, we all have to work together,” said Tom Porter, California State Director of AARP. “That’s why we’re coming together to mount a public campaign to encourage the governor and legislature to act now to make sure Californians have quality health care that they can afford. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”
The ad illustrates how current gaps in health coverage make the system less stable and more costly for all Californians. It features Dr. Robert Splawn, a practicing emergency physician in Los Angeles. Dr. Splawn shares his first-hand experience of seeing patients use the ER like a doctor’s office because they can’t afford, or don’t have access to, a regular doctor. He explains how this situation causes overcrowded waiting rooms and contributes to rising health costs. Dr. Splawn concludes by encouraging the governor and legislature to keep working together to pass health care reform this year.
“The concerns Dr. Splawn shares in this ad echo what doctors are seeing all across the state,” said California Medical Association President Anmol S. Mahal, M.D. “Whether it’s in the E.R., a community clinic, or in private practice, doctors want real reform to make sure patients have health care they can count on. As Dr. Splawn says, 'if we don't make it better now, it will just keep getting worse.'”
“The fact is, health coverage is changing, and not for the better,” said Sal Rosselli President of the SEIU State Council. “That’s why we’re mounting a substantial campaign to move health care reform forward this year. We’re committed to doing what it takes to encourage the governor and legislature to seize this historic opportunity.”
“Our member companies want their employees and their families to have quality, affordable health care,” said Carl Guardino, CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. “What’s exciting about this historic coalition is that organizations from all across California are coming together to say that 2007 is the year for action – and that everyone has a part to play.”
“To achieve universal health care coverage, all Californians need to work together,” said George C. Halvorson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan/Hospitals. “The coalition has brought together business, labor, health care providers and plans to collaborate toward meaningful reforms that will expand access. Shared responsibility by employers, individuals, government, and health care providers and plans is critical to achieving universal coverage.”
“Like all Californians, the rising cost of health care is hurting teachers and their families. The time has come to work together to provide affordable, accessible health care for every Californian,” said Don Bridge, a Chino Valley/Ontario area teacher and member of the California Teachers Association board of directors. “It's equally important to ensure that all children have adequate health care as well. When children have quality health care, they miss fewer days from class and do better in school.”
The Together for Health Care Coalition includes: AARP, Bay Area Council, Blue Shield of California, California Labor Federation, California Medical Association, California Teachers Association, Catholic Healthcare West, Health Net, Kaiser Permanente, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. The Coalition supports four core principles critical to achieving comprehensive reform: universal coverage, shared responsibility, affordability, and stable long-term funding.
Full script -- “Overcrowded”
(Dr. Robert Splawn speaking in busy Emergency Room)
Around here, we’re ready for almost any emergency. But today, we’re seeing more and more people use the ER like a doctor’s office because they don’t have a doctor. Waiting rooms are overcrowded – and everyone’s costs are going up to pay for it all.
That’s why the governor and legislature have got to keep working to get something done this year – people need health care they can count on. If we don’t make it better now, it’ll keep getting worse.