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Single-Payer Healthcare Receives Voter Support

Posted Jun 20th, 2008 by Patient Assistance Team
Outside of San Francisco’s Moscone Center, more than 1,000 protesters showed their support for two bills - Sheila Kuehl’s SB 840 and Congressman John Conyers’ HR 676 – that would establish single-payer healthcare.

More than 1,300 private health insurance companies – members of the lobbying group America’s Health Insurance Plans - met inside. The organization spent over $7 million in lobbying efforts in 2006.

One attendee of note was former Democratic National Convention chair, Terry McAuliffe. The former campaign manager during Hilary Clinton’s recently conceded presidential run spoke from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on The Politics of Healthcare.

McAuliffe’s ex-boss spent much of her campaign over the past year or so promising to take steps toward a unified healthcare system. Had Hilary won the Democratic nod on the back of the ideal of a universal healthcare system and her campaign manager appeared during a healthcare lobby event, many questions would have undoubtedly risen.

Mayor Gavin Newsom signed a resolution earlier in the day in support of the aforementioned HR 676 bill by Conyers. The author of that resolution, Tom Ammiano, was also present at the rally. The Assemblyman-to-be is responsible for San Francisco’s ‘Healthy San Francisco’ plan that would universalize healthcare in the state. He criticized Democratic and Republican nominees Barack Obama and John McCain for failing to support a single-payer healthcare system.

Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, whose “two-pronged fight” against health insurance companies, was also at the rally. Delgadillo has sued insurance companies who deny those in need of service and his Web site (protectingtheinsured.org) takes complaints from providers and consumers.

According to Kaiser Network, there are 47 million uninsured Americans (nearly 16 percent of the population) while almost 10 percent, or 25 million, are underinsured.

Among the others who spoke for AHIP were former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, (former counselor to President Bush) Dan Bartlett (who spoke alongside McAuliffe) and former Health and Human Services secretary under the Bush Administration, Tommy Thompson.