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PNHP RESOURCES

Idaho AFL-CIO endorses H.R. 676, national single-payer health care

By Kay Tillow
Single Payer News, July 1, 2013

Rian Van Leuven, president of the Idaho State AFL-CIO, announced that on June 12, 2013, the delegates to the 55th Annual Idaho State AFL-CIO Convention passed a resolution to publicly endorse and support H.R. 676, single-payer health care.

Further the resolution states, “That the Idaho State AFL-CIO will develop working relationships with community organizations in Idaho which advocate for single-payer health care and Medicaid expansion.”

Louis Schlickman, M.D., an Idaho physician who practices in Meridian and is co-chair of the Physicians for a National Health Program state chapter, showed the movie “Escape Fire” and made a single-payer presentation to the convention prior to the passage of the resolution.

After the resolution for H.R. 676 was passed by the Idaho State AFL-CIO Convention, Dr. Schlickman stated, “Collectively we are all realizing that unions in general can play a huge role in helping others, not just union workers, see the merit in a single-payer financing system of care.”

Dr. Schlickman observed that union members “have seen how one unexpected illness or injury leads to significant catastrophes of health and income status. And most important, they understand the issue of solidarity.”

Idaho is the 43rd state AFL-CIO federation to endorse H.R. 676, which was introduced into the 113th Congress by Representative John Conyers, D-Mich. The bill is subtitled “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.”

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H.R. 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a greatly improved Medicare to everyone residing in the U. S.

H.R. 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental (including oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics), mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care and correction, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, podiatric care, and long-term care.

H.R. 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. H.R. 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

In the current Congress, H.R. 676 has 43 co-sponsors in addition to Rep. Conyers.

H.R. 676 has been endorsed by 604 union organizations including 145 Central Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 43 state AFL-CIOs (KY, PA, CT, OH, DE, ND, WA, SC, WY, VT, FL, WI, WV, SD, NC, MO, MN, ME, AR, MD-DC, TX, IA, AZ, TN, OR, GA, OK, KS, CO, IN, AL, CA, AK, MI, MT, NE, NJ, NY, NV, MA, RI, NH, & ID).

For further information, a list of union endorsers, or a sample endorsement resolution, contact:

Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care—H.R. 676, c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO), 1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218, Louisville, KY 40217. Phone: (502) 636-1551, E-mail: nursenpo@aol.com. www.unionsforsinglepayer.org