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California Breakthrough a 'Pivotal Moment' in Fight to Transform Nation's Health Care System

SEIU President Andy Stern Joins CA Governor, Assembly Speaker As California Announces Deal To Pass Landmark Healthcare Legislation

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Andy Stern, president of the largest union of healthcare workers in California and the nation, joined the Governor of California, the Speaker of the State Assembly, and other state and national figures to rally support for landmark legislation that would help secure affordable health coverage for millions of Californians and build a new road toward transforming the national healthcare system.

Stern, who participated in a July 2006 summit hosted by the Governor to discuss healthcare affordability, said that the bill currently being considered by the state legislature represented a "pivotal moment" in the search for real solutions to our nation's healthcare crisis.

"Today California took a giant step towards assisting the growing number of hard working, tax paying, middle class people whose only healthcare plan is a prayer that they don't get sick; whose only doctor is an emergency room; and whose only realistic chance to live free of both increasing healthcare costs and being an illness away from financial disaster is this plan," Stern said.

"I believe history will judge today as the tipping point in the long sought dream of an America that offers every person secure, affordable and quality healthcare coverage for themselves and their families."

Stern joined California Governor Schwarzenegger, Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, and consumer advocates, healthcare providers and representatives of the business community at an event held today on the steps of the California State Capitol in Sacramento. SEIU leaders and members played a key role in helping shape a legislative compromise, which was unanimously endorsed by SEIU's California leadership and approved earlier today by the State Assembly. The bill now heads to the State Senate.

"For those who say let's wait, procrastinate or engage in more debate, I say, the one, single repeatedly-proven lesson Americans have learned in the decades of failed efforts of reform is this: the longer we wait, the worse it gets," said Stern. "Waiting is not an option."

SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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