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Rhode Island's is 41st state AFL-CIO to endorse H.R. 676

By Single Payer News

On Feb. 25 the Executive Board of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed H.R. 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, the national single-payer legislation recently reintroduced into Congress by Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich.

George Nee, president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, stated, “Year after year America continues to spend more and get less in return for our broken health care system, something must be done. The Rhode Island AFL-CIO strongly supports single-payer national health care as a way to insure all Americans, cut wasteful spending out of our health care system, and contain costs in a system where prices are spinning out of control. All Americans should have access to high quality affordable health care, that does not jeopardize the financial or physical well-being of themselves, their families, or the companies they work for.”

The vote followed a presentation on single payer health care by J. Mark Ryan, M.D., F.A.C.P., president of the state chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). Dr. Ryan is an internist in Providence where he provides primary care at the University Medicine Foundation. “I was very impressed at how knowledgeable the Executive Board members were about H.R. 676 and the benefits of single-payer national health care,” Dr. Ryan told the All Unions Committee.

The Rhode Island AFL-CIO is the umbrella organization for more than 250 local unions which represent over 80,000 working men and women across the state. The story on the Rhode Island AFL-CIO website is here.

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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 113th Congress, H.R. 676 has 41 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers.

H.R. 676 has been endorsed by 598 union organizations including 144 Central Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 41 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).

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, unionsforsinglepayer.org