David A. Sanchez, president of the 325,000-member California Teachers Association, issued this statement today about the historic health care reforms approved by the House of Representatives on Sunday:
“California’s educators want to sincerely thank those members of the House of Representatives who have sided with the millions of Americans who are suffering from having no health care and no resources to afford any as costs continue to soar. The impacts of the historic House vote passing the first major reforms of the nation’s troubled health care system after 50 years of trying will be felt across the nation, but especially here in California, and in our classrooms.
“The reforms will eventually help many of our state’s more than 8 million uninsured find affordable health care – including thousands of students. Teachers know that children who come to school healthy and ready to learn have a better chance at achieving academic success. This federal legislation will help more students and working families find coverage, and a better future. These reforms mean students can stay covered longer on their parents’ plans, and prohibit insurers from denying coverage to people who are sick. This also provides more care without having the middle class pick up the costs, thanks to CTA members’ calls to Congress in recent months to protest that idea, as part of a national effort by labor unions. Our voices were heard.
“Bringing health care costs down for educators is critical to recruiting and retaining teachers in California, where health benefit expenditures have more than doubled in the last 10 years for the state’s 1,000 school districts and teachers are paying for more and more costs out of their own pockets. Because the federal legislation is not a panacea for getting coverage for all Californians, CTA continues to support pending state legislation – Senate Bill 810 – to create a ‘single payer’ insurance system run by the state government that would streamline our wasteful system, and make it more efficient.
“CTA joins the National Education Association in calling on the U.S. Senate to now pass a final federal health care reform bill quickly. Our students and families deserve as much.”
The 340,000-member CTA is affiliated with the 3.2 million-member National Education Association.