Monday, June 25, 2007

San Diego: the first stop on the Road to Reform

(UPDATE: dday just posted a Calitics quickie that says Michael Moore will be at the LA rally at 11am tomorrow at the California Hospital Medical Center.)

(UPDATE UPDATE: I just got an email that said the Michael Moore event has been relocated and will be at the First Street steps of the LA City Hall at 11am)

The It's Our Healthcare: Road to Reform Tour kicked off in sunny San Diego this afternoon. It's was a great excuse to take a half day off work, hop on the trolley, and hang around downtown for a bit.

As it says on their website, It’s Our Healthcare is a coalition of consumer advocates, seniors, health advocates, communities of faith, and labor united to ensure that the people of California’s voice is heard in the debate over healthcare reform. There was a mid sized turnout of around 75-100 people, and we listened to a series of speakers who told their personal stories about the impact of inadequate healthcare due to inadequate health insurance.

A woman spoke about her four year old niece who's the only one in the family that has no health insurance because she had the "pre-existing condition" of a series of ear infections as a baby.

A middle aged woman told of her breast cancer and her husband's bypass surgery that ended up generating $120,000 in medical bills AFTER the insurance paid. The lost their business, had to file for bankruptcy and mortgaged their home to the hilt. Despite having what they thought was good insurance coverage, they're now financially ruined.

A small business owner spoke of an employee who nearly died because the insurance wouldn't cover the full cost of his insulin, so he was cutting his doses in half.

It's a problem that so many Americans don't have health insurance, but being covered by a plan is no longer much assurance.

It's Our Healthcare is not yet advocating for any specific plan, but want opportunities for real folks to be able to participate in the conversation about healthcare in California. They had postcards where you can write your own healthcare story, and they will take a Polaroid picture of you to attach to it. At the end of the tour in Sacramento, they'll be delivering the cards and photos to the state legislature.

Lt Governor John Garamendi was supposed to attend, but had to stay in Sac because he's the acting Governor while Arnold is away, and he needed to be there because of the state of emergency caused by the terrible fires in Lake Tahoe, but he sent a message of suppport. Hopefully, he'll be at some of the other stops along the way.

When the Road to Reform tour comes to you this week, attend the rally and use the opportunity to raise your voice to tell California legislators that you want meaningful healthcare reform now.

Tuesday, June 26 at 11:00am
California Hospital Medical Center
1401 S Grand Avenue, Los Angeles

Wednesday, June 27 at 9:30am
Liberty Bell Plaza
1415 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield

Wednesday, June 27 at 1:30pm
City Hall, City Council Chambers
2600 Fresno Street, Fresno

Thursday, June 28 at 9:30am
San Francisco City Hall (Steps on Polk Street Side)

Thursday, June 28 at 1:00pm
State Capitol (West Steps)


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