Coalition Plans Major Campaign for National Health Care Reform
Hoping to make a national health plan a pivotal issue in the presidential race, a coalition of groups this week kicked off a $40 million campaign in 52 cities across the country.
Two Democrats with their eyes on the governor's job in 2010 helped kick off the campaign in California. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom appeared at City Hall in San Francisco, and Lt. Gov. John Garamendi appeared at an event in Los Angeles.
Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.), helped kick off the campaign in Washington, D.C,
The coalition, Health Care for America Now, includes consumer groups, labor unions, physicians and dentists with a strong core of California leadership.
"California can and should be a leader in this debate," said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer advocacy group and member of the coalition.
The coalition's central goal is to get the next president and Congress to create a plan to make affordable health care available to all Americans by 2009. The coalition favors a system in which patients have a choice between private and public coverage.
The coalition plans to spend $1.5 million on advertising immediately and will invest $25 million in a media blitz before the November election. The campaign plans to have 100 organizers in 45 states.
As that effort gears up, California lawmakers will make their way through a long list of health care bills. Here's a look at some recent action.