Continuing the Fight for Healthcare Justice and Supporting the Work of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare
Whereas: Healthcare in the United States remains a national disgrace with the highest costs in the world, ranking 28th in infant mortality and 24th in life expectancy with nearly 50 million Americans having no coverage at all and millions more having such meager coverage that a single major medical event will push them into bankruptcy; and
Whereas: These high costs have helped to sustain a climate of concessionary bargaining, pushing down wages, causing bitter strikes and lockouts, triggering attacks on public sector workers and retirees and shifting more and more of the costs onto the backs of workers; and
Whereas: The cost of healthcare coverage continues to rise and workers pay a higher share of the costs and more for coverage; and
Whereas: All other industrialized countries provide comprehensive coverage to all citizens as a fundamental human right, putting U.S. manufacturing employers and workers at a global competitive disadvantage; and
Whereas: The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been supported as a preliminary step because it will improve access to healthcare for millions of Americans but, under the ACA, up to 30 million will remain uninsured and profit will continue to drive healthcare policy; and
Whereas: The ACA will pose significant challenges to our unions’ ability to negotiate decent coverage for their members and families by undermining non-profit union-sponsored health and welfare funds and increasing “race to the bottom” pressures through tiered benefits and the so-called “Cadillac” excise tax; and
Whereas: A single-payer, Medicare for All healthcare program would be a powerful alternative to the austerity policies being foisted on America’s workers because economists have determined that the entire federal budget deficit would be eliminated if the U.S. spent per capita on healthcare what any other industrialized nation that treats healthcare as a human right spends; and
Whereas: The AFL-CIO, at its 2009 Convention, called for a Social Insurance Model for Health Care Reform that treats healthcare as a fundamental human right and stated that the most cost effective and equitable way to provide quality healthcare is through a single-payer system; and,
Whereas: Over 1,000 national regional and local unions, state labor federations and central labor councils have endorsed HR 676—the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act” introduced by Congressman John Conyers; and
Whereas: The Labor Campaign for Single Payer, launched in 2009 to advocate within the labor movement for comprehensive, single-payer national healthcare reform, is calling for the labor movement to lead the fight for healthcare justice and is supported by 14 national unions, 9 state labor federations and dozens of local and regional unions; now
Therefore Be It Resolved: That ______________ joins with our sisters and brothers around the country in the Labor Campaign for Single Payer to advocate, educate and organize for healthcare justice and for a single-payer system that will make healthcare a birthright for everyone in America, through a publicly financed healthcare system that provides comprehensive benefits and a single standard of care in a system where healthcare decisions are made by patients and their caregivers not by corporate and government bureaucrats and where scarce healthcare resources are not squandered by profiteers, marketing and excessive administrative costs; and
Therefore Be It Resolved: That ____________ joins the Labor Campaign for Single Payer and encourages all of its affiliated unions to do so and that it will embark on a systematic program to educate its members about the nature of the healthcare crisis, the importance of the single-payer solution, it’s role in relieving the liability for retiree healthcare costs and in reducing the cost of coverage for all workers and their families; and
Be It Finally Resolved: That ____________ supports and urges our federal and state legislators to enact legislation that embodies the principles of a single payer Medicare-for-All system and that we will urge our union and community allies to make such legislation a priority in all state and federal electoral efforts.
Please forward one copy to the national AFL-CIO and one copy to the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer, 2929 South Jefferson St., St. Louis, MO 63118.