SOURCE: Health Care for All-Marin

February 15, 2006 11:30 ET

Marin County Rallies Support for Single-Payer Solution to Health Care Crisis Holds State's First Citizen Congressional Hearing on Feb. 18th

California Joins States' Grassroots Effort for National Health Reform

MILL VALLEY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 15, 2006 -- Outraged by the failure of government to correct the problems inherent in the U.S. health care system -- 7 million uninsured in California alone, limited access, and soaring costs -- Health Care for All-Marin (the Marin Country chapter of Health Care All-California) announces the state's first citizen congressional hearing on health care, Sat., February 18th, 10am to 12:30 pm, at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael.

This hearing, the first of four hearings currently scheduled throughout California, will rally support for a single, non-profit health insurance plan for all Californians, drawing support from labor unions, state and county officials, consumers and consumer groups, community leaders, health care providers, and business leaders, among others. This grassroots action, launched throughout California, is part of a growing national reform effort, in which states are seizing the initiative for health care reform. Scores of such hearings, backed by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), are being held in cities across the country.

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, (D-Petaluma) a long-time advocate of single-payer health care, and State Assemblyman Mark Leno, a co-author of the CA single-payer bill, SB 840, will launch the Marin County hearing.

"Our health care system is on life support," says Esther Wanning, Director of Health Care for All-Marin. "The system's stability is dissolving, and today only half of all workers are covered by their employers, most Americans are underinsured, and two-thirds of the public say they'd like a universal, government-funded health care insurance plan. In spite of this urgency, little is being done to address this ever-growing national crisis. Today, we hope to change that by bringing health care leaders together with the system's victims to express the need for reform loudly enough so that Sacramento and Washington will have to listen," says Wanning.

The hearing will open with a panel of health-care experts who advocate
 health reform and include:

-- Larry Meredith, Director of Marin County Health and Human Services
-- Bree Johnston, MD, MPH,  Dir., Gerontology, SF VA Medical Center;
   Co-President, CA Physicians' Alliance
-- John Severson, Director of the Coastal Health Alliance
-- Sara Rogers, health consultant to CA Senator Sheila Kuehl
   (lead author of SB 840)

Members of the public will testify, and a final panel to address the
 building of a large grass-roots movement, includes:

-- Andrew McGuire, Exec. Dir. of Health Care for All-CA
-- Deborah Burger, president of the California Nurses Association
-- Kris Organ, Exec. Director of SEIU 949
The hearing will be from 10 AM to 12:30 PM in the Supervisors/Planning Commission Chambers, Rms. 328 and 330, in Marin Civic Center, San Rafael.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact
    Aileen Kantor
    Email Contact
    301-229-6782

    Health Care for All-Marin
    Esther Wanning
    415-389-9991