Overwhelming Support for Making Health Care Affordable and Available

Contact: Leigh Fifelski
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Office (517) 999-3646
Cell: (248) 321-4579

DEARBORN – Members of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), health care reform advocates, and concerned citizens gathered in Dearborn today to listen to Governor Jennifer Granholm and Melody Barnes, President Barack Obama’s director of White House Domestic Policy Council, discuss plans for much-needed reforms that would help fix America’s broken health care system. Obama’s administration placed the focus on making health care available and affordable this year.

“Today’s event proved to us all that President Obama and his administration are listening to the plight of the millions of Americans who are struggling to survive day-to-day without adequate health care coverage,” said John Freeman, Michigan Director of Health Care for America Now. “Hardworking Americans have for far too long been forced to endure life with either insufficient health care coverage or none at all. Today, we learned that critical stakeholders support immediate change to our health care system, including major reforms to our insurance industry. By working closely with the Obama administration, we can reform our broken health care system once and for all and we can do it in 2009.”

The forum, also attended by Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle, examined a wide variety of ways in which solutions can be applied to help fix health care coverage in Michigan and around the rest of the country. The economic reality is that health care must be reformed in order to help our struggling economy recover, in Michigan as well as nationwide. A few topics covered in today’s event included:

  • Paying attention to both coverage and cost. As President Obama said in quoting HCAN National Campaign Manager Richard Kirsch in closing remarks at the White House health care summit: “With respect to the cost of care, Richard Kirsch with the Health Care for America Now said that we can’t have a false dichotomy between coverage and costs, that by covering more people we can also lower costs at the same time, presumably because those who are not insured at the moment are ending up using extraordinarily expensive emergency room care.”
  • Guaranteeing comprehensive benefits for everyone. These benefits must meet people’s needs from preventative coverage to chronic care coverage, and they must be affordable for individuals, families, and businesses – both big and small.

“Today, it was shown that health care is a moral right, and everyone should have access to it. One of the best ways to help fix health care is to give Americans a choice between keeping their private insurance if they have it and joining a new public health insurance plan,” said Shawn Welker, Statewide Health Care Organizer for Gamaliel. “Allowing Americans to be able to choose to keep their private health insurance if they have it or join new public health insurance plan is essential to controlling costs and ensuring quality. We can no longer be left at the mercy of the private health insurance industry which keeps charging us more and giving us less.”

Health Care for America Now is made up of more than 800 organizations representing 30 million people dedicated to winning quality, affordable health care for everyone in America. The coalition includes doctors, nurses, community organizations, small business owners, faith-based groups, people of color, seniors, children’s and women’s rights groups, and labor unions fighting to achieve a national solution to the health care crisis, and its principles for reform are supported by President Obama and more than 185 Members of Congress.

For more information on Health Care for America Now, visit: www.healthcareforamericanow.org.

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