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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2001

businesshealthsurvey.org Calls For Employer Views On Health Care


Public Health Crisis To Employers: The Health Care System Needs You

The California Nurses Association, California Medical Association, American Small Business Alliance and Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights today issued a survey calling for employer views on the health care system. The on-line survey can be accessed at www.businesshealthsurvey.org.

The survey comes at a time of a heightened public health scare over the spread of anthrax that highlights the need for employers and the medical community to begin a dialogue about overhauling and integrating the public health care system and the private health care system. Too little integration between the systems has caused problems for protecting society against public and private health care problems. The survey queries employers about their feelings regarding the current health care system and support for a universal health care system.

According to the groups, the current health care system is in turmoil. They report that businesses face double-digit increases in their premiums, a thread bare public health system is more important than ever and patients are dissatisfied and overwhelmed by an increasingly complex and irrational health care bureaucracy. In addition, doctors and nurses are hamstrung in delivering quality care by HMOs, and nearly 7 million Californians live without health insurance.

"We know there is a better way" said Jamie Court, executive director of The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights "and we're looking for business leaders to join us in finding solutions to the health care crisis."

According to Sara Nichols, governmental relations director of the California Nurses Association, "Businesses pay a heavy price for today's piece meal health care. They are the crucial factor to moving forward for significant reform."

Steven Thompson, Vice President of the California Medical Association adds that "Physicians are supportive of the collaborative effort being undertaken to address the health care crisis in California. We have long supported Universal Health Care coverage and welcome the business community in joining the debate. They are fundamental to efforts that would result in true reform."

The survey -- and additional information on regional "town hall" meetings and working groups across the state -- can be accessed on the web at www.businesshealthsurvey.org

This collaboration marks the first time that the primary representatives for doctors, nurses, consumers, and business people have pledged to work together to find common ground to make the health care system more fair, simple and cost effective. Their stated aim is "to develop and implement action-oriented reforms that give control back to consumers, businesses and health care providers."

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