San Luis Obispo’s downtown Mission Plaza filled Wednesday with about 200 people holding signs that read “Health Reform = Jobs for America” and “Republicans for Health Care Now.”
San Luis Obispo’s People United for Healthcare and Jobs chapter coordinator Walter Heath of Morro Bay organized Wednesday’s rally, which included testimonies by health care professionals and patients who advocate universal health care.
Heath said health care is a public need, to which everyone requires access.
The United States pays more than twice the amount that other developed countries pay for health care, he said.
“We’re advocating for health care that is publicly financed, but privately delivered,” Heath, 54, said. “That way, we’re not increasing debt. It’s self-sustaining.”
Tom Comar, president of the Central Coast Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants and a Health Care for America NOW! representative told the crowd that although the United States has the best medical technology, 50 million uninsured Americans cannot access it.
Stephanie Raphael, 68, of Los Osos spent many years without health insurance and said the need for public health care outweighs the cost.
“Public health care will save people money. Sick people don’t work well, and if they are not working at all, they won’t have the amount of money needed for their medical conditions and treatments.”
After the rally’s end, supporters with signs in hand marched up Monterey to the corners of Monterey and Santa Rosa chanting, “What do we want? ‘Health care!’ When do we want it? ‘Now!’ ”