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New York City Labor Council endorses H.R. 676

By Kay Tillow
Single Payer News, July 21, 2013

The Executive Board of the New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, unanimously approved a resolution supporting H.R. 676, national single-payer health care legislation, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.

NYC CLC President Vincent Alvarez calls this resolution “Labor’s way of standing up for the health and well-being of working men and women and their families,” noting “The national legislation is a true means of controlling ever-increasing health care costs, while ensuring that Americans get the medical care they so desperately need.”

In the resolution, the Council notes that almost every union is forced to battle and sacrifice to sustain health care benefits for members. The Council also notes that while the United States spends twice as much of our GDP on health care as other developed nations, we remain the only industrialized country without universal health care coverage.

Robert Score, recording-corresponding secretary of IATSE (Theatrical & Stage Employees) Local One, said, “As we all know, nobody in the United States should have to choose between health care and keeping a roof over their heads, food on their table or clothing on their children. H.R. 676 will prevent such calamities. I am thankful to President Alvarez for guiding the NYC CLC to endorse H.R. 676.” IATSE Local One submitted the resolution that was passed.

The NYC CLC, the 146th CLC to endorse H.R. 676, represents 300 local unions with a total membership of 1.3 million.

In other news, on July 19 Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez of California’s 46th district became the 44th co-sponsor of H.R. 676.

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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 44 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers.

H.R. 676 has been endorsed by 605 union organizations including 146 Central Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 43 state AFL-CIO’s (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--HR 676 c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO), 1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218, Louisville, KY 40217. Phone: (502) 636-1551. E-mail: nursenpo@aol.com. Website: unionsforsinglepayer.org.