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Campaign launched in support of CA’s landmark Health Insurance Act

For Immediate Release
May 25, 2004
Lisa Cohen – 310.395.2544
Anthony Wright – 916-870-4782
Earl Lui – 415-431-6747

Healthcare Advocates Join Senate President John Burton to Launch Campaign for the Health Insurance Act
Broad coalition of consumer groups, seniors, doctors and nurses pledges
aggressive effort to educate Californians on landmark healthcare measure

SACRAMENTO — Senate Leader John Burton was joined at a news conference by leaders of groups representing consumers, senior citizens, doctors and nurses to kick-off the campaign to secure public approval of the Health Insurance Act (HIA). Speaking from the offices of the California Medical Association, Burton pledged a massive public information blitz.
“We’ve got a secret weapon in this campaign: the truth. Voters overwhelmingly support the Health Insurance Act when they know what it achieves,” Burton said. “We’re going to get our message out and we’re going to set the record straight from falsehoods and distortions on the other side.”
“We passed a law to ensure that every Californian who works hard and plays by the rules gets affordable healthcare on the job. We’re not going to let those protections get ripped away before they even have a chance to take effect,” Burton pledged.
Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access, unveiled the Action Plan outlining an aggressive grass roots campaign to make sure voters receive reliable and factual information about the measure. The plan includes Internet outreach, a Speakers Bureau to mobilize nurses, doctors and other coalition members in public forums, and a program to distribute 1 million informational flyers statewide through supportive organizations, in workplaces and at mass-transit stations.
“We’re going to let employees whose premiums are going through the roof know that the Health Insurance Act will provide very real protections. We’re going to let employees who don’t receive health coverage on the job know that the HIA will protect them as well,” Wright said.
Senator Burton and Wright were joined by representatives from the California Medical Association, Consumers Union, California Nurses Association, Latino Issues Forum and AARP. These speakers represent just a few of the over 100 organizations that have pledged their support to the campaign.
“In a campaign where voters are choosing between the nurses, doctors, and consumer groups versus big corporations that don’t provide healthcare to their workers – we think our background and credibility on public health issues will give us a substantial advantage,” said Donna Gerber, director of governmental relations for California Nurses Association.
“Our coalition stands for the basic value that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules deserves affordable healthcare on the job,” said Earl Lui, Senior Attorney with Consumers Union’s West Coast Office, “We will be working on a grass roots level across California to make sure that the Health Insurance Act stays in place to protect California’s families.
More information about the campaign is available online at: www.SaveYourHealthcare.com