Advocates Tell Candidates to Provide Quality Health Care Coverage Now


Chuck Reed
American Cancer Society
800-688-0147 (office)
515-490-1150 (cell)

DES MOINES, IA -- The chief executives of AARP, Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association will lead rallies on Tuesday, May 22, in support of quality health care for all Americans. The rallies will take place in four states with an early presidential primary or caucus.

In Iowa John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., CEO of ACS CAN and its sister charitable organization, the American Cancer Society, will join volunteers from the five groups in visiting 12 Presidential candidate offices in the Des Moines area. The groups' advocates will call attention to America's health care crisis and direct a critical question to every American -- "Are You Covered?"

The groups also will deliver a joint set of fundamental goals for quality health care:

Quality health care for all -- All Americans deserve effective prevention, treatment and care;

Health care that's affordable -- Getting the health care we need should not bankrupt individuals, families, businesses or society;

Health care without the "red tape" -- All Americans deserve a health care system that provides clear, up-front explanations of costs and benefits, provides the best value for their dollar, and eliminates unnecessary paperwork;

Health care when and where people need it -- All Americans, regardless of their health, deserve adequate coverage that gives them the best available treatment and care in appropriate settings through all life stages and levels of disability.

Through their nonpartisan efforts, the group intends to increase public awareness about the importance of access to health care and to encourage candidates to address the issues.

"Our biggest obstacle to eliminating the threat of cancer is not scientific discovery -- it is the lack of access to quality cancer care," said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., CEO of ACS CAN and its sister charitable organization, the American Cancer Society. "ACS CAN and our partners are working to ensure that the country improves access to care so we can make enormous strides against the deadliest chronic diseases."

The groups will be providing additional advocacy training to their volunteer advocates, who will be attending candidate events to ensure that the issue of access to care holds a prominent place in the public debate leading up to the 2008 elections.

The groups also will be holding public issue forums over the summer to further emphasize the importance of giving all Americans access to quality care.

ACS CAN is the nonprofit, nonpartisan sister advocacy organization of the American Cancer Society, the world's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN conducts issue campaigns and voter education efforts that encourage lawmakers and candidates to support laws and policies that will help people fight cancer. ACS CAN is building a grassroots army of cancer advocates throughout the country whose mission is to make the fight against cancer a top national priority. For more information, visit .

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. We produce AARP The Magazine, published bimonthly; AARP Bulletin, our monthly newspaper; AARP Segunda Juventud, our bimonthly magazine in Spanish and English; NRTA Live & Learn, our quarterly newsletter for 50+ educators; and our website, The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer's. For more information, visit

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association's advocacy efforts include helping to combat discrimination against people with diabetes; advocating for the increase of federal diabetes research and programs; and improved access to, and quality of, healthcare for people with diabetes. The Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides service to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. These diseases, America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim over 870,000 lives a year. In fiscal year 2005--06 the association invested over $543 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives. To learn more, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

Des Moines, Iowa
Participate in a 10:00 a.m. press conference outside the American Cancer Society office located at 8364 Hickman Rd, Suite D.  Click here to email your advocacy staff partner for more information.

Reno, Nevada
Be part of a 10:00 a.m. press conference at Bartley Ranch located at 6000 Bartley Ranch Road.  Click here to email your advocacy staff partner for more information.

Concord, New Hampshire
Volunteers interested in participating in this press conference should meet at 10:15 a.m. in the parking lot of the Storrs Street shopping center near Sal's Pizza - 80 Storrs Street.  A bus will then transport you to the nearby AARP office for a brief training and 11:30 a.m. press conference.  Click here to email your advocacy staff partner for more information.

Columbia, South Carolina
Join ACS CAN and our partners for a training and press event from 11:00 - 1:00 at Seawells, located at 1125 Rosewood Drive.  Click here to email your advocacy staff partner for more information.