Steve Burd, CEO of Safeway Inc. and Chairman of the Coalition to Advance Healthcare Reform (CAHR) joined Governor Schwarzenegger and Speaker Fabian Núñez to applaud Assembly passage of the Healthcare Security and Cost Reduction Act (AB 1X1). They hailed the landmark legislation as a good prescription for achieving coverage for all Californians, reducing rising costs and improving quality of care.
"Today’s vote marks an historic opportunity for California to lead the nation by truly changing the rules of the game in reforming the state’s healthcare delivery system,” said Burd. “These reforms mark a monumental step in guaranteeing coverage for all Californians, improving the quality of care, reducing rising costs and emphasizing prevention and wellness as major components for care.”
CAHR is an active, working coalition of more than 50 like-minded business leaders and companies which was formed in 2007 to urge action to solve the nation’s healthcare crisis. CAHR and its members have been proactively involved in advancing responsible healthcare reform proposals in 2007. Joining Burd at today’s news conference where CAHR members Albertson’s, Blue Shield, CIGNA, Kaiser Permanente, Longs Drugs and United Healthcare. Throughout the process CAHR and its members have been at the table helping to forge consensus on a measure that achieves the coalition’s key objectives. This includes a market-based healthcare system; universal coverage with individual responsibility; financial assistance for low-income individuals; healthier behavior and incentives; and equal tax treatment.
“The legislation passed by the Assembly today addresses many of the principles supported by our Coalition. We applaud the Governor and Speaker Nunez for their leadership and courage in supporting these groundbreaking reforms,” said Burd. “To achieve reform all stakeholders must be willing to make changes for the better good of our state. This compromise measure tackles the major problems of our current system and establishes a new, innovative system of care that is fair, responsible and focused on prevention, wellness, quality of care and accessibility that will start to bring all Californians into the healthcare system.”
CAHR and its members will continue to work with the Governor, Speaker, Senate President Pro Tem Perata and other stakeholders to ensure passage of a comprehensive healthcare reform measure.
“The Governor and the Speaker have never given up during this process when most pundits suggested a deal could not be reached,” continued Burd. “They are proving that by working together and staying at the bargaining table, remarkable things can happen. Now we must all stand together with them to ensure healthcare reform crosses the finish line.”