Wednesday, August 05, 2009

L.A. stands with the President on health care reform

The health care crisis is a national issue, but one local leaders confront every day.

The numbers tell a story of need:

  • 18% of all Americans under 65 lack health insurance
  • 28% of non-elderly Angelenos are uninsured
  • In Council District 13, that number is even higher -- 37%

It is long past time for change.

Leaders in Congress are at work crafting legislation to meet President Obama’s three core principles for health care reform:

  • Reducing costs for families, businesses and government;
  • Protecting people’s choice of doctors, hospitals and health plans; and
  • Assuring affordable, quality health care for all Americans.

Today, Los Angeles became the first big city to endorse those principles.

Before voting on the resolution, we heard passionate and moving testimony from Angelenos with personal experiences with the difficulties of today’s health care system. Dr. Rab Razzak came to Council Chambers from his 13-hour overnight shift at Good Samaritan Hospital to share his perspective as a physician. Jack Dannibale told of his father’s decision to forgo chemotherapy at the hospital where he worked so that he could leave his sons money to go to college. He passed away days later.

These stories, these experiences, are not acceptable. Not here, not anywhere. We all know that it is time for real reform, and now this is the official position of the City of Los Angeles.