Standing with the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and national labor and civic leaders, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) helped launch a historic, new cooperative effort with the goal of fundamentally changing the nation’s broken health care system, according to a SEIU press release.

The founding members of the new partnership, which was announced at a Washington, DC, news conference, are SEIU and Wal-Mart, the largest health care union and the largest corporation in North America, respectively; AT&T; Intel; Kelly Services, Inc.; Communications Workers of America; the Center for American Progress; the Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy; and the Committee for Economic Development.

“What unites us to be here today, and will continue to hold us together is our belief that it will be a far greater America when we finally get health care for every man woman and child,” said Andy Stern, President of SEIU.

The coalition will mobilize leaders from the business, labor, and political worlds – as well as individuals – in the growing movement to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Together, the founders pledged to recruit 50 additional partners, seek support from lawmakers, and launch innovative public education campaigns to rally customers and workers alike in the fight for a new American health care system.

The coalition also released a set of shared principles to guide the overhaul of the health care system, committing to bring about fundamental change by the year 2012.

“It is time to admit that the employer based health care is dead,” Stern said. “We can’t keep tinkering, hoping that incremental change will fix our broken health care system. We need fundamental change, and it is going to take new thinking, leadership, new partnerships, some risk taking, and compromising to make it happen. But that is what we all owe our country.”

As the largest union of health care workers in North America, SEIU has led the effort to fundamentally reshape the nation’s health care system. Last summer, SEIU President Andy Stern wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal and sent letters to every Fortune 500 CEO in the country, challenging them to partner with SEIU to develop a new model that solves the health care crisis for American workers and businesses alike.