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Exclusive: SEIU, CAP, Wal-Mart, AT&T Form Coalition To Tackle Health Care Crisis

Nearly 47 million Americans lack health insurance. Health care premiums have jumped 87 percent over the last five years. As Americans struggle to afford coverage and companies reel at its costs, the need for guaranteed affordable health care for all is clear.

This morning, AT&T;, Wal-Mart, the Service Employees International Union, the Center for American Progress, and a host of other businesses and non-profit organizations will announce a new campaign to tackle this health care crisis.

The unusual partnership, called “Better Health Care Together,” is motivated around four organizing principles:

1) We believe every person in America must have quality, affordable health insurance coverage;

2) We believe individuals have a responsibility to maintain and protect their health;

3) We believe that America must dramatically improve the value it receives for every health care dollar; and

4) We believe that businesses, governments, and individuals all should contribute to managing and financing a new American health care system.

Better Health Care Together plans to recruit business, labor and civic leaders committed to making health care reform a reality; enlist support for the principles from national, state and local elected officials, policymakers, candidates and opinion leaders; and persuade workers and customers that the current health care system needs to be reformed.

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Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott said, “By following this campaign’s common sense principles, we believe America can have high quality, affordable and accessible health care by 2012.” SEIU’s Andy Stern added, “We need fundamental change, and it is going to take new thinking, leadership, new partnerships, some risk taking, and compromising to make it happen.”