Eureka, Ca., (KIEM)- Motorists could be heard honking for health care on 5th Street in Eureka Wednesday as demonstrators gathered outside of California Assembly Member Jim Wood’s office.
Many of the advocates used their lunch hour to come out, hold signs and do their best to encourage the Assembly Member to support SB 562. The bill would help create a single pay er health care system for the state of California.
Single payer health care, often referred to as “Medicare for All” would put one public agency (or semi-public) in charge of handling healthcare financing. It would also mean assured coverage for everyone, while keeping provider operations mostly private.
Not everyone who turned out Wednesday was in favor of the concept. One man raised his voice in support of lowered taxes overall and less government involvement in health care.
Still the demonstration was largely populated by doctors and healthcare professionals.
“Everyday I would find in my work a very frustrating situation where the medicines that we were prescribing for people without health insurance would be tremendously expensive.” Dr. Joseph Burke, and doctor of internal medicine shared, “Even with health insurance costs have gone up considerably… Expense is preventing people from getting the care they need.”
“We came all the way from Willow Creek,” One woman said, “Because we believe health care is a right, not a privilege.”
The bill has already passed in the California Senate. Tomorrow is the deadline to get SB 562 into committee. That’s why the crowd was fighting for Jim Wood’s attention.
Wood was aware of their efforts and responded with this statement, “I recognize the passion of these advocates and will always advocate for their right to voice opinions. Although SB 562 was held in assembly this year, solutions to move toward universal health care are in the works, and I hope these advocates are not stuck on this one solution to achieve healthcare for all.”