Assembly Member Jim Beall, Jr., Addresses Statewide Health Crisis

May 17, 2007
Contact: Richard Woonacott @  (916) 319-3687
Beall, Chair of the Human Services Committee, and the Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, along with Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez' and Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Don Perata's staff, hold a Town Hall on Healthcare on Thursday, May 17, 2007, at the Camden Community Center located at 3369 Union Avenue, San Jose, from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.

More than 6 million Californians do not have any type of health care coverage. This vast number of Californians includes the people who work in the high tech industry, who clean our offices, who take care of our children and prepare our meals. In Santa Clara County, over 150,000 residents between the ages of 19 and 64 have no health care plan. Cities and counties, the arm of government that bears the brunt of indigent care, need financial help to provide essential medical care, medical care needed by the thousands of uninsured and indigent Californians who walk through their emergency room doors annually. The cost to cover the uninsured is staggering. In 2006, it cost the Santa Clara County over $114 million to provide essential services for uninsured residents.

“I have a bill, AB 12, that brings health coverage to low wage workers but I don't care whose name is ultimately on the solution to this problem. Real heroes don't volunteer because everyone else took one step backward," stated Beall.

The Governor and leadership from both houses of the State Legislature have made fixing California’s healthcare system a top priority this year. This Town Hall will help educate and raise awareness about the various healthcare reform proposals that are currently being considered in Sacramento. The event will also provide an opportunity to meet with other elected officials, learn how the Governor’s May Revise impacts the proposals, and express your thoughts on which proposals you think would work best in California.

"We can do better," decried Beall. "As Californians wait for more comprehensive and universal health care reform, we must act now to expand health care coverage for our struggling uninsured population. Implementing my Adult Health Care Coverage Expansion Program and the Speaker’s proposal would go a long way toward solving our health care crisis. We can not, as good stewards of the people, sit quietly and watch the expense of treating the uninsured rise, often late in their diagnosis, costing human lives and draining our cities and counties of their financial resources."

Before the Town Hall, Assembly Member Beall, members of both the Speaker and Speaker Pro-Tempore staff, as well as local business and community leaders, will be available in Camden Community Center, Administration Building, Conference Room 1, from 5:30-5:45 PM to meet with members of the press and conduct personal interviews. Should you be unable to attend, quotes from local business and community leaders are attached.

Quotes - HealthCare Town Hall

“The healthcare reform discussion in Sacramento is long overdue; this is a challenging and a critical time. Shared events with the County, who is the safety net healthcare provider, are essential to assure the public that all of government is working together toward healthcare reform.” - Supervisor Liz Kniss – District 5

"I am very concerned about the growing healthcare crisis in our state. The work being done by the Governor and legislative leaders is both needed and appreciated. A part of this crisis is the ever-increasing threat to the healthcare safety net. With the demand for our services growing and the cost of providing care increasing, we find ourselves in the very difficult position of having to cut services that our community needs."
- Kim Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Santa Clara Valley Health & Hospital System.

“As a County Supervisor, Jim Beall always led the fight for better health care. His leadership continues with his Assembly bill to support health coverage for the working poor. We hope the voices heard at this Town Hall meeting will encourage our elected representatives to pass legislation ensuring access to quality health care for all Californians.” - Leona Butler, Chief Executive Officer of Santa Clara Family Health Plan

“Ignoring the need for reforming health care in California is like video taping a tornado coming right at you and thinking it's going to stop before it hits you. We have to begin talking about a solution to this problem right now or we're no different than the people who said the stock market bubble wouldn't burst." - Assembly Member Jim Beall, Jr.