California Fair Elections Campaign Announces Endorsement by Leading California Health Care Group

By Press Release

SACRAMENTO, CA -- The California Fair Elections campaign today announced that Health Care for All-California has joined the California Fair Elections Act's (CFEA) growing list of endorsers. Appearing on the June 2010 ballot, the Fair Elections Act, authored by Loni Hancock and signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, would establish a voluntary pilot public financing program for the 2014 and 2018 Secretary of State races.

"Health Care for All-California believes that providing people with comprehensive, reliable, and affordable health insurance is a basic human right," said Andrew McGuire, Executive Director of HCA-California. "By putting pro-consumer candidates on equal footing, the California Fair Elections Act is a critical first step toward enacting the fair, equitable, and universal health care system California's families and economy need to thrive."

In 2009, a study by the Public Campaign Action Fund found that health and insurance interests contributed $187 million to members of key congressional committees working on health care reform, dramatically dwarfing contributions from health and consumer advocates. The study also found that elected officials who voted against health care reform received 65% more in campaign contributions from health and insurance interests than officials who voted for reform.

Meanwhile, nearly 7 million Californians lack health insurance, prices for prescription drugs remain high and health care for the poor will be dramatically cut under the budget just passed in Sacramento.

"With drug companies and the insurance industry spending millions in campaign contributions every year, it's no wonder the United States has the most expensive and one of the poorest performing health care systems in the developed world," said Trent Lange, president of the California Clean Money Action Fund. "The Fair Elections Act will begin to reduce the influence of mega-corporations on public policy so elected officials can act in the best interest of patients, not donors."

Illustrating the importance fair elections play in advancing health care reform, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano credited that state's fair election system with allowing her to fulfill a campaign promise to create a discount prescription drug program on her first day in office.

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