October 7, 2008

SEIU Members Continue Stepped Up Effort to Educate Voters on Difference Between Obama and McCain Healthcare Plans
Washington, D.C.--As the presidential candidates come on stage tonight for the second presidential debate, Jean Berg, a nursing assistant and member of SEIU Healthcare Florida, will be in the audience, waiting to ask John McCain why he wants to tax healthcare benefits and make it harder for families to afford coverage.
Berg has been a nursing assistant for nearly 28 years and has never had healthcare.
"It's the single biggest economic factor in my life," says Berg. "I can't afford the coverage I need and if I get sick I'm afraid I'll lose everything."
"I never voted before because I never thought it mattered," added Berg. "But John McCain seems to want to make it harder for people like me to get health care. He wants to take us backwards and I can't afford another president who puts me on the bottom of their priority list."
Berg is one of more than 1,000 SEIU members across the country taking time off to elect Barack Obama and a Congress that will make healthcare a priority. And another 100,000 nurses, janitors, child care providers, and other workers are joining her on evenings and weekends to win on Election Day.
SEIU members are stepping up their efforts on the air, on the doors, and in the mail to educate voters on the difference between the Obama and McCain healthcare plans. On Friday, the Associated Press reported that while voters prefer Barack Obama's health care plan to John McCain's, many voters--particularly independents and seniors--do not have a clear understanding of the differences between the two proposals. Recently, SEIU members:
  • Released a new ad in key battleground states on the difference between the two plans (;
  • Mailed DVDs to more than 250,000 households in battleground states on John McCain's disastrous healthcare plan;
  • Helped host dozens of press conferences highlighting how McCain's health care plan would impact key groups, such as women and veterans;
  • Promoted a new state-by-state analysis of McCain's proposal with the Center for American Progress; and
  • Distributed a new side-by-side on healthcare to voters across the country.
SEIU also hosted the first issue forum of the presidential campaign to focus on healthcare and launched the Road to Healthcare bus tour which traveled 8500 miles and held events in 17 states. Senator Barack Obama and six other candidates and elected officials across the country walked a day in the shoes of healthcare workers.  
SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina will also be attending the town hall debate and will be available to talk to the media.