Congress Looks For Compromise and Cash, Groups Demand Universal Care
As Congress prepares to debate health reform proposals, demonstrators in several cities called for a focus on universal health coverage. "Thousands of people took to the streets of Seattle on Saturday to make sure the issue of health care reform stays front and center on the national agenda," reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. One demonstrator, at a "thousands"-strong rally in Seattle, said, "We've needed it for a long time, but the momentum among people, especially doctors and nurses, certainly this is the time because they're for it" (Lane, 5/30).
At a smaller rally in Augusta, Maine, "More than 200 people came to the parking lot outside the Maine State Museum Saturday to express their support for a major change to the health-care system," the Morning Sentinel reports. A smaller rally of about 40 people demanded that health care stay in private-sector hands nearby (Cover, 5/31).
In San Francisco, about 200 single-payer advocates, who hope for a government-financed health system that would cover everyone, gathered outside House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office in the Federal Building to ask for a seat at the table during the reform debates, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. In May, single-payer proponents complained at a rally that they were being excluded from deliberations. Pelosi was traveling abroad during the rally (Colliver, 5/30).