The $40 million Health Care for America Now campaign aims to push Congress and the next president to pass health care reform legislation in 2009.The campaign has spent about $1.5 million on national television, print and online advertising and an e-mail blast to more than 5 million people that will go out today. The campaign plans to spend $25 million more in paid media. About 100 organizers in 45 states will participate. "It's a uniting issue," Newsom said at a news conference on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. "We're all in this together," he said, stating the issue crosses party lines. Health Care for America Now, a coalition of more than 100 national and local groups, has received funding from partner organizations and was awarded a $10 million grant by New York-based Atlantic Philanthropies. Anthony Wright, executive director of non-profit Health Access California and a moderator of today's San Francisco event, said the campaign is not promoting a specific plan, but rather advocating a set of principles to guide health care reform. Those principles include an inclusive accessible health care system in which no one is left out, a choice of a public or private insurance plan without a private insurer middleman, health care benefits without out-of-pocket costs, equity in health care access, treatment and resources, and a watchdog for insurers. The campaign also advocates cost controls and lower administrative costs for health insurance. "We need a government that is a leader and a partner, rather than an obstacle, in reforming our health system," Wright said. He also said the campaign will continue efforts for state-based health reform. Attendees at today's event included representatives of the California Labor Federation, Small Business Majority, Union of American Physicians and Dentists, San Francisco Labor Council, and other groups.
Newsom joins healthcare reform campaign