The state employees are behind President Obama's call for significant health care reform in Congress this year.
"We have to have a public option plan that folks that the government can provide to people," said Cope.
Executives attending the forum told Eyewitness News they agree that reform is necessary. It's what type of reform that's the question. Most oppose the so-called public option - which they say would put the government in competition with insurance companies.
"We don't believe that a government-run option is necessary to accomplish the goals of healthcare reform," said Blue Cross/Blue Shield executive Bob Greczyn.
"We don't think the government needs to be in the healthcare delivery business. We don't think there needs to be competition in the private market sector when it comes to insurance," said lobbyist Brad Crone.
But state employees say the options available from private companies are too expensive for the uninsured to afford.
"It's about 500, 600 dollars a month to do that and that unfortunately contributes to the high number of uninsured folks in the state," said Cope.