Officials Call for Universal Health Care
Alameda County community groups and labor unions on Saturday held a public hearing to discuss the health care crisis facing the county and methods to expand access to care, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Anthony Iton, the county public health officer, said the county's safety net was inadequate and called for a single-payer health care plan. Such a system could reduce costs to the county and emergency-department visits by uninsured patients, Iton said. Iton also spoke about racial and ethnic disparities in health care, and said inequities in housing, education, employment and other issues need to be addressed before health care disparities can be eliminated.
Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) said she supports federal legislation (HR 3000) to establish a U.S. Health Services department to provide health care and other services to all U.S. residents. Lee also is cosponsoring a separate universal health care bill (HR 676) (Richman, Oakland Tribune, 3/26).