September 26, 2006


(Washington, D.C.) – Yesterday, members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) lauded the recommendations of the Citizens Health Care Working Group (CHCWG) which shows remarkable consensus among Americans for public policy that ensures all Americans, regardless of their financial resources or health status, have affordable health care coverage. UFCW members are on the frontlines of the struggle for affordable health care for working families. Today’s report outlines what millions of working families already know – the health care system is at the tipping point and Americans want significant change to happen now.

UFCW International President Joe Hansen has served on the 15-member CHCWG since its inception in 2005. Created by an act of Congress, the CHCWG has created an historic national dialogue among Americans about their experience with the nation’s health care system.

“”I’m proud of the work we have done together as the Working Group by engaging a broad cross-section of Americans to weigh in on the health care crisis. Washington gridlock has prevented meaningful reform in the past and now the mandate is clear: Americans demand immediate and significant action,”” said Joe Hansen.

Over the past year, the CHCWG engaged the American public in groundbreaking national dialogue on health care across 37 states with more than 35,000 responses on the internet. The message was clear, and consistent with national polls: Americans want health care for all; they want the delivery system fixed, they want waste eliminated, and they are willing to pay their fair share as long as the government and businesses do the same.

The report details America’s strong desire for comprehensive health care reform and sense of urgency that changes happen immediately. The CHCWG recommendations will be presented to Congress and the President and urge action in 2007 to pass legislation that will ensure all Americans have affordable health care by 2012. The Working Group also provided immediate steps that can and should be taken to provide security for American families and access to services in their communities.

As health care costs continue to rise out of control and the number on uninsured rises, the employer based health care system is crumbling. Responsible employers shoulder a heavier burden of health care costs due to companies like Wal-Mart that refuse to pay its fair share. Companies like Wal-Mart cut costs by making basic coverage too expensive for their workers only make the problem worse.

The CHCWG recommendations provide lawmakers with a road map for fixing the system.

“”The American people want fundamental reform that brings quality health care coverage for everyone. Obviously we can’t solve the health care crisis at the bargaining table. We need a national solution to this national crisis,”” continued Hansen.

To read more about the CHCWG recommendations to Congress and the President, log on to