Using HR 676 to build the national single payer movement

Date and Time:
Sunday, August 24, 9:00AM-10:10AM, ILWU Local 6 Hall, Conference Room 2

Presenter: Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care - HR 676

Description: The workshop will explore ways to build the single payer movement locally and nationally using HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, as the model legislation that encompasses all of the single payer principles. What is working and other ideas for what we can do.

Notes by Presenter and Conference Participants:
Labor mobilization for SP and HR 676 – Kay Tillow
Health care is a national issue and cannot be solved at the state level.  The ACA has had many problems for labor.  One of the difficulties is the slow rollout of the ACA and there is a silence about the problems of the ACA.  Multi employer plans offer subsidies to non union employers, but union workers cannot get subsidies from the health and welfare funds..

A 40% excise tax in 2018 caps generous benefits.  The ACA makes it cheaper for employers to escape paying for health care with a $2000 fine.  People cannot afford the copays and deductibles and are woefully underinsured.  So there are lots of reasons for labor to support SP

Medicaid situation is worse and being turned over to private insurers.  Medicaid is a completely inadequate plan.  They will pay to pull your teeth but there is no money for dentures.  Medicaid pays so low that it has difficulty finding any willing provider.   300 patient advocacy groups sent a letter to Secretary of DHHS Burwell complaining that the ACA is not adequate for their patients.

Can significant legislation start at the state level and move nationwide?  Very few states can stand up to an entire medical industrial industry.  It is also very hard to find the tax money at the state level.  

Yes, we should do state efforts, but we need to stop saying it can’t be done at the national level.  “Make no little plans for they have no magic to stir the blood”.  We have to make it possible with grassroots efforts.  The ACA will implode and we should get ready to do SP in 2017, esp. when people file their taxes and find they could owe thousands of dollars.

Ed Cloonan from Pittsburgh spoke about his local Braddock Hospital which closed because it served a poor black community.  SP would eliminate the discrimination.  5% will pay more, 90% will pay less, 5% will pay the same. 

Mike Barkley running for Congress in CA – 10.   moc.hcaerni|lkrabjm#moc.hcaerni|lkrabjm
calculated the SP benefits.  He estimates over $600 B savings.
More sympathy for SP as the insurance companies seem worse.  

vog.esuoh.liam|gnilreps.kirE#vog.esuoh.liam|gnilreps.kirE is the health aide to Rep. John Conyers, prime sponsor of HR 676.  He is anxious to help.

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