Group calls for health care reform

Rally held at Bilbray’s Solana Beach office

By Erica Schroeder


Dozens paraded in front of Rep. Brian Bilbray’s Solana Beach office on July 16, encouraging support for the health care reform goals outlined by President Obama.

The participants, a coalition of health care reform groups, held signs, chanted and asked anyone passing to sign a petition to Bilbray in support of the president’s goal of creating a publicly funded health care plan.

“We’re out here to raise awareness about health care reform now,” said Tom McGreal, one of the event’s organizers. “We want to make sure we get comprehensive health care reform and raise visibility on this issue.”

The coalition included members of the Progressive Democrats of America and the Organizing for America groups.

“Sixty percent of American bankruptcies are from health care costs,” said Anita Simmons, a member of the Progressive Democrats of America.

Bilbray recently voted against proposals that could have been precursors to a larger government-funded plan. He has often expressed support for leaving health care reform up to states rather than the federal government. Bilbray was unavailable for comment on the rally.

“Health care is a basic human right,” said Claire McGreal, another organizer. She compared today’s battles with a government-funded health care plan to the historical issues with a public schooling plan back in early 1900s America. At one point, the government debated about whether or not it should fund education; now it is one of America’s most basic federally funded programs, McGreal said.

“People question whether health care is a basic human right, and we’re at a point economically where the answer should be yes,” McGreal said.