Participants at Santa Rosa Forum Recommend Universal Health Care System
Participants at a forum on Saturday at Santa Rosa Junior College called the nation's health care system "terminally ill and worse" and recommended a universal health care system, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat reports. About two dozen physicians, nurses, public health administrators and educators spoke at the forum, "Health Care Crisis 2002: A Search for Solutions," sponsored by the junior college and nurses represented by Service Employees International Union Local 707. Forum participants expressed "broad sentiment" that the United States should replace the nation's employer-based health care system with a system similar to Medicare. They cited the increased number of uninsured U.S. residents, "skyrocketing" health insurance premiums and "soaring" health care costs as "fertile soil" for reform and predicted that the problems would increase without "systemic changes." Mike Smith, a member of the Sonoma Valley Health Care District Board and an organizer of the forum, said that the "time is ripe for change." He added, "The reason we don't have universal health care is because we don't have a broad-based movement to put fire under the politicians. ... The people are ready" (Hay, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, 10/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.