Local Health Care Consumers Getting Organized

14th August 200610:35 am

August 14, 2006

Now that we have achieved sufficient participation by local agencies to get started, County Supervisor Jim Beall and I are pleased to call the first meeting of our Santa Clara County Health Benefits Coalition Steering Committee.

The meeting is set for September 18 from 1:30 to 3:30 PM and will be held in the District Board Room at Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, in Los Altos Hills. As of today, the following agencies within Santa Clara County have conducted formal votes or administrative actions to join this coalition:

The County of Santa Clara
The City of San Jose
The City of Mountain View
The City of Palo Alto
The Sunnyvale School District
The Santa Clara County Schools Insurance Group (which includes a majority of the school districts in the county)
The Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District
The Foothill-De Anza Community College District
The City of Los Altos Hills
The Santa Clara Valley Water District

The initial meeting of our Steering Committee is open to all participants, both from agencies that have joined and those that have not yet joined. Only those agencies who have joined by the time of the meeting, however, will be eligible to vote at the meeting. In accordance with the resolutions that were passed when agencies joined the Coalition, each member agency of the Steering Committee has one vote.

One highlight of the meeting will be a presentation from Sally Covington, who is leading an increasingly successful effort to create a statewide Health Benefits Coalition designed to improve the quality of care for public employees while reducing costs.

I’m looking forward to the meeting. There is a lot to be gained by working together.

As a friend remarked, “I can’t believe it has taken this long for the major consumers of health care services to get organized! It is so obvious that is the only way to get real reform.”

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