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Leaders Discuss Future of CO Health Care

State Lawmakers & Experts Meet About Health Care Reform Proposals October 17th, 2007 State lawmakers and health care experts met yesterday evening to discuss the present and future status of health care in Colorado at a conference put on by the Progressive States. Nationwide, a number of states have set up interim groups similar to Colorado's 208 Commission to examine health care reform proposals, including New Mexico and Iowa. Meanwhile, the health care debate in Washington D.C. stalls as the President refuses to address the health care needs of anyone but the abjectly poor. "Lawmakers in Colorado and a number of other states are really taking the lead in confronting the health care crisis in this country," said Adam Thompson, Health Care Policy Specialist at the Progressive States Network, "while politicians in Washington D.C. can't even agree to fund health care for needy children." Colorado State Representative Morgan Carroll (HD 36 - Aurora) spoke at the event, titled Colorado Health Care at a Crossroads: Building a Path to Health Care for All, which a number of other state legislators attended. "Colorado is fortunate to have forward-thinking leaders who see that health care reform is a necessity, not a luxury," said Joel Barkin, Executive Director of the Progressive States Network. Also speaking at the event were John Arensmeyer of Small Business Majority, a national organization of entrepreneurs; Robin Baker of the Bell Policy Center, a progressive Colorado think tank; and Ella Hushagen of Families USA, a national health care advocacy group. Cosponsors of the event included the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Bell Policy Center, Center for Policy Alternatives, Colorado Progressive Coalition, Herndon Alliance, Progress Now, Service Employees International Union, and the Universal Health Care Action Network (UHCAN). The Progressive States Network aims to transform the political landscape by sparking progressive actions at the state level. Founded in 2005, the group provides coordinated research and strategic advocacy tools to state legislators and their staffs, empowering these decision-makers with everything they need to engineer forward-thinking change in their states. Our board consists of labor leaders, grassroots and “netroots”? groups, and key policy centers. With additional support from these organizations, Progressive States makes it even easier for lawmakers to keep open dialogues with their most savvy constituents. By supporting state legislators and other groups in their efforts to spark progressive actions and get good ideas passed into law, Progressive States proves that state policy matters, and that good policy leads to good politics for all. For more information, visit www.progressivestates.org. ###