Health Care :: SEIU, business, community, civic, & political leaders to reform health care

The movement to overhaul the country?s broken health care system took another step forward today at the Better Health Care Together Strategy Summit in New York. SEIU and other co-founders of the partnership of business, labor, government, and nonprofit leaders committed to comprehensive health care reform by 2012 called on policy makers to heed the public?s plea for bipartisan, common sense solutions to this country?s health care crisis.

?When this many different perspectives unite behind a common goal, it makes very clear that health care reform is achievable,? said Andy Stern, president of SEIU and co-founder of the Better Health Care Together coalition. ?There is no shortage of good policy ideas, and we know how hard the public is pushing for reform. All we need now is the political will to get it done, and Better Health Care Together?s diversity, strength, and expanding size will be a powerful engine to finally get quality, affordable care for everyone in America.?

Better Health Care Together today added six new partners at its convened summit of more than 80 leaders from business, labor, and civil society to address the national health care crisis. Governor Edward G. Rendell (D-PA) and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) (live via satellite) addressed the group as they sought to move forward their own statewide health care reform initiatives.

As the largest union of health care workers in North America (nearly one million members), SEIU has led the effort to fundamentally reshape the nation?s health care system. ?SEIU members know health care because they live with it every day; at the bedside with patients and the kitchen table with bills,? said Stern. ?We consistently hear from them that we need to find a solution to the problem of our broken system.

?We need to invest more and involve patients in preventive care. We need to know what our health care dollar buys. We need to make sure each and every person in this country can see a doctor when she is unwell.?

?We may stand in different places, but we are looking at this issue with a unity of focus,? added Stern. ?It?s going to take some collaborating between the public and private sectors, between labor and management, between providers and patients to solve this problem. None of us agrees on everything. Yet that?s exactly what makes this partnership strong. We agree on health care?we agree passionately on health care. Better Health Care Together, and others, will provide the missing piece in the drive for universal care: the political will to get it done.?