The primary purpose of the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Health Care is to increase grassroots labor support for H.R. 676 as an essential element in winning the support of Congress to enact the National Health Care Act “Medicare for All” as the public policy of this country because we believe that health care is a human right.
Our nation’s healthcare crisis is ruining the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans. The huge number of uninsured and underinsured families is growing dramatically and, increasingly, members of our unions are joining their numbers.
This crisis intensifies the difficulties of all workers struggling to survive in today’s predatory economic environment. Shifting the cost of healthcare to workers under the current profit-driven system is a painful feature of virtually every set of contract negotiations these days. For the vast majority of workers without a union, the situation is even more desperate. A publicly financed, single-payer national health care system like those in virtually all other industrialized countries is the only solution that will control costs, increase access and improve the quality of care.
The Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Health Care is being launched at this critical time as an extension of already existing single payer support among many labor organizations and is intended to increase and help coordinate grassroots labor support for universal, comprehensive, single-payer healthcare as embodied in HR 676, the legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers, and co-sponsored by 92 members in the last Congressional session.
The Campaign’s goal is to promote active engagement in the struggle for a single-payer “Medicare for All” national system at the state and local level among union members and others. The campaign will join with others in the national single-payer coalition in educating and mobilizing broad support for HR 676 and, as a result, educate our elected officials to the necessity of a health care system that is democratically controlled, publicly administered, and single-payer financed.
We oppose the inclusion of private insurance companies and investor-owned providers in our country’s health care system. Their interests are counter to, and often destructive of, the well being of a vast majority of the residents of our country. A single-payer system is the only way to control costs, effectively reduce overhead spending, guarantee comprehensive health care to all, and remove a significant handicap on U. S. workers in the global economy. We support provisions for the retraining and income support for those workers whose jobs may be made redundant by this essential legislation.
The Labor Campaign for Single–Payer Health Care intends to work closely with all other organizations that support HR 676 “Medicare for All.” The passage of HR 676 will require more than an assembly of organizational interests — it will require the building of a social movement around the issue and an uncompromising commitment to “Medicare for All” health care as part of a greater public policy commitment to social justice.
This Statement is hereby approved by a vote of those assembled on January 10-11, 2009 at the National Labor for Single-Payer Health Care Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.
Copyright 2011 Labor Campaign for Single Payer Organizing Committee. All Rights Reserved.