By popular demand, here’s a scorecard of the new state and national coalitions around healthcare reform. I might miss some, and won’t include ongoing, existing coalitions (like Health Access California) as well as those that focus on one specific piece of legislation, like Sen. Wyden’s bill or the Kennedy/Dingell bill at the national level, or SB840 or universal children’s coverage here in California.
These descriptions are short summaries, and not meant as endorsements or critiques. I’ll try to refrain from much editorializing:
Better Health Care Together
* Got the most press for having SEIU and Wal-Mart together at the annoucement, it also includes the Center for American Progress, CWA on the labor side, and high-profile businesses such as communications companies AT&T, Qwest, and Intel, and temp agencies Kelly Services and Manpower, among others.
* Vague but broad principles, that by 2012 every American should have “quality, affordable health insurance coverage.”
Health Care Coalition for the Uninsured
* Includes many of the different health industry stakeholders, from insurers to providers to some business and consumer groups, including the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, American Public Health Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Catholic Health Association, Chamber of Commerce, AARP, and Families USA.
* With a federal focus, this coalition has probably the most specific (if less ambitious) health plan, mostly around expanding public programs for children as a priority, and expanding tax credits for individual private insurance.
Divided We Fail
* Smaller coalition but seemingly a bigger commitment from its three main members: AARP, SEIU, and the Business Roundtable.
* National reach but with statewide activity, focused on “access to health care and long-term financial security.”
Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform
* Mostly Fortune 500 businesses, led by Safeway head Steve Burd, including other supermarkets and drugstore chains (Raley’s, Price Chopper, CVS, Longs), retail goods manufacturers (H.J. Heinz, Clorox, Wrigley, General Mills, Kraft, PepsiCo), insurers (Aetna, Kaiser, Blue Shield of California, Pacificare, Cigna), and drug companies and others (GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, PG&E.)
* Mostly national in scope, but Safeway and other members have been very active in the California debate. Principles include: “Market-Based Healthcare System; Universal Coverage with Individual Responsibility; Financial Assistance for Low-Income Individuals; Healthier Behavior and Incentives; Equal Tax Treatment”
Together for Health Care
* California-focused health care stakeholders, including California Medical Association, Catholic Healthcare West, SEIU, Blue Shield, Kaiser, HealthNet, California Labor Federation, California Teachers Association, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, etc.
* Broad principles, committed to “universal coverage,” “shared responsibility” and “sustainable and equitable financing.” Members say they are focused on creating a positive environment for reform in California this year, even as different members have different viewpoints on the proposals on the table.
While these aren’t “strange bedfellow” coalitions, I would be remiss not to include:
Its Our Healthcare
* Growing coalition of 50+ consumer and constituency organizations, including AARP, ACORN, AFSCME, Consumers Union, Health Access California, CALPIRG, SEIU, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Labor Federation, California Council of Churches, IMPACT, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, California Primary Care Association, Congress of California Seniors, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, and many others.
* This public campaign is to ensure that consumer voices and principles are reflected in the policy debate this year, to win reforms this year that benefit health care consumers.
Having Our Say
* California-focused coalition of groups that specifically represent communities of color, led by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the California Immigrant Policy Center, and the Latino Issues Forum, and many others.
* Working with Its Our Healthcare, but with a focus on addressing issues of equity in the health system, to meet the needs of the diversity of California.
Finally, while all of the above coalitions emphasize their support of healthcare reform (even as they are vague or have different notions of what that is), one new coalition has a much more negative tone, with their emphasis explicitly against any employer requirement. The California Small Business Health Coalition is led by the California Restaurant Association, California Small Business Association, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and others, including large employers like Yum! Brands (KFC and Taco Bell). On the positive side, they do state their support for lower health costs and expanded children’s coverage.
We’ll try to keep you updated with all this activity…