Julie Loeffler gets irritated whenever she hears someone fret about the specter of "socialized medicine" coming to the United States.
Loeffler experienced socialized medicine first-hand, when she and her husband lived in Quebec. She was pregnant with her first child at the time and facing some complications. But Canada's health care was some of the best medical care she's ever had, says Loeffler, whose husband is a doctor.
"I sat in a clinic with women from all walks of life," she says. "There were well-off people. There were middle-class people. There were poor people. Everybody was treated the same way.
"You tell me this is a system to be afraid of? It's not."
Loeffler is frustrated that so many people admit that a single-payer system is the best solution, yet also say it's not politically possible. "There's value in saying, 'This is the ideal, let's see how far away we are from it.'"
Dr. Jerry Sielaff, a retired associate professor of medicine at UW, has advocated for universal health care for years and will speak at the rally. "If the goal of doing health care reform is to make sure 100% of the population can have access to health care," he says, then a single-payer system "is the only means of doing that."
Sielaff is a supporter of President Obama, but thinks the president is "still a little vague about what he wants to do" on health care.
Sielaff also fears the president's proposal would still leave many people uninsured. "I think his heart is in the right place, but I think he's bending to political pressure and saying 'It's the best we can do,'" Sielaff says. "It's not the best we can do."
Next Wednesday, June 17, Sielaff will be part of a panel debating health-care reform at the First Unitarian Society, 900 University Bay Dr.