Continuing the Fight for Healthcare Justice and Supporting the Work of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare
Draft Resolution in Support of Labor Campaign for Single Payer (updated 11/2017)
Whereas: Healthcare in the United States remains a national disgrace with the highest costs in the world, ranking 26th in infant mortality and 31st in life expectancy with nearly 28 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: 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 improves access to healthcare for millions of Americans. We recognize that Republican attempts to “repeal and replace” are thinly disguised attempts to deprive 22 million Americans of their healthcare in order to finance tax cuts for the 1%, and undermine public health programs. However, even under the ACA, 28 million remain uninsured, and profit continues to drive healthcare policy; and
Whereas: The ACA also poses 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: Medicare for All is not only the most ethical option on the table, but also the most pragmatic and economically sustainable. Senator Sanders Medicare for All Act of 2017 is a game changer, and support for the House bill, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act (H.R. 676, endorsed by over 1,000 national, regional, and local unions, state labor federations and central labor councils) has surged; 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 American labor movement has fought for more than a century to make healthcare a right in the United States; and
Whereas: The AFL-CIO, at its 2017 Convention, demanded that we “move expeditiously toward a single-payer system, like Medicare for All, that provides universal coverage using a social insurance model”; 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, 10 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 Medicare for All system that will make healthcare a birthright for everyone in America; 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 and the benefits of taking healthcare off the bargaining table by making it a right for everyone in America; 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 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/or your national union and one copy to the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer, 2929 South Jefferson St., St. Louis, MO 63118.