HEALTH ACCESS UPDATE
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
CONFERENCE COMMITTEE TO MEET TUESDAY ON BILL TO EXPAND HEALTH CARE
It is expected that the conference committee on SB 2 (Burton) will meet the afternoon of Tuesday, September 2nd, the day after Labor Day. This will kick off a two-week effort to pass this major expansion of health care before the end of the legislative session September 12th.
CONTENT: A version of a draft bill should be ready in the next day. ATTACHED is a two-page fact sheet, which describes the current draft and its provisions, and has been approved by Senate President John Burton’s office. While it is different in size and scope from the original version of SB 2, the bill in this form is estimated to extend coverage to over one million uninsured Californians, and for the first time set a precedent that working families should get health insurance. Meeting the “first, do no harm” principle, the bill would also preserve the current systems of public insurance programs and safety-net institutions.
SUPPORT: For these reasons, Health Access California strongly supports SB 2, and urges that other advocates for the uninsured also come out in support on Tuesday, and in the two weeks to follow, to take advantage of this window of opportunity. The bill is sponsored by the California Labor Federation and the California Medical Association, and has the support of not only consumer and citizen organizations, but hospitals, some insurers, and some employers.
TURNOUT NEEDED FOR TUESDAY: The conference committee, made up of Senators John Burton (D), Jackie Speier (D), and Sam Aanestad (R), and Assemblymembers Dario Frommer (D), Rebecca Cohn (D), and Robert Pacheco (R), is expected to consider testimony at Tuesday’s hearing. We hope as many organizations and advocates for the uninsured as possible can ATTEND AND TESTIFY IN SUPPORT ON TUESDAY in support of this expansion of health coverage. It is likely that there may also be a press event the morning of Tuesday, September 2nd, with more details to be announced. Health Access will be distributing other materials explaining the bill and its impact in the next several days.
EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES: We are actively encouraging groups to schedule in-district delegation meetings with the offices of Assemblymembers, to set-up local press events to demonstrate the health care crisis and the need for reform, and other efforts. Other events of note:
LOS ANGELES STRATEGY MEETING: There will be an in-person meeting on Thursday, AUGUST 28TH, at 4:00PM, at Conference Room of SEIU 660, 550 S. Virgil Avenue, Los Angeles. In addition to addressing issues around the content of the bill, this will also deal with organizing and advocacy to get Los Angeles Assemblymembers in support.
CALL-IN TO GOVERNOR DAY: The California Labor Federation is spearheading a call-in day on Thursday, September 4th, to get calls and faxes to Governor Davis to urge him to sign SB 2 when it gets to his desk. Governor Davis’ phone number is: 916-445-2841. His fax number is: 916-445-4633.
Anthony E. Wright
1127 11th St., #234, Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph: 916-442-2308, Fx: 916-497-0921