Healthcare United holds voter registration drive

07/21/08 Concetta DeLuco
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Healthcare United, a new, national movement of healthcare workers for healthcare reform, held a press conference outside of Bayfront Medical Center on Saturday. They organized a voter registration drive to encourage healthcare workers to sign up to vote.

State Sen. Charlie Justice from St. Petersburg was the keynote speaker at the assembly. He said there needs to be an “urgency for healthcare reform,” just as people have demanded change for “property taxes and insurance over the past few years.” He considers America the “greatest country in the world,” but such stateliness is not reflected in our current healthcare system and improvements need to be made.

Justice recognized the impact that healthcare workers could have in fueling such reform by voting in the upcoming presidential election.

Jeff Cadorette, a student radiographer who works at Morton Plant and Bayfront Medical Center, emphasized the need for healthcare workers to voice their opinions for change now so as to meet the demand of any medical changes in the future.

Healthcare United was formed in February in 17 battleground or swing states and was launched in Florida in April.

Jessica Lowe, the organizer for the Tampa Bay area of Healthcare United, said the organization's goal is to unite “millions of healthcare workers nationwide” and give them the political power to change the system. But she says there are many healthcare workers in Florida who have not yet registered and their accumulated votes can “swing any election.”

Healthcare United is a partner of the Florida Consumer Action Network (FCAN). Both Healthcare United and FCAN are part of the Health Care for America Now coalition that was launched last month and wants to ensure that quality, affordable healthcare insurance will be the first order of business addressed by the next president.

Isaac Medrano, the local liaison for Healthcare United, stressed the importance of healthcare workers taking an active role before the presidential election.

From now until November, Healthcare United will continue to organize voter registration drives for healthcare workers to provide them with a more convenient opportunity to vote.

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