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New Mexico is 44th state AFL-CIO to back H.R. 676

By Kay Tillow
Single Payer News, Oct. 24, 2013
 
On October 17, 2013, the Executive Council of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, endorsed H.R. 676, national single-payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-Mich.), reports Jon Hendry, president.
 
New Mexico is the 44th state AFL-CIO federation to take such action.
 
President Hendry stated, “We are huge believers in single payer here. There is absolutely no dissent from this unanimous support.” He said he was surprised to learn that formal action to support H.R. 676 had not been taken earlier. “We are not late,” he said, because “we have been big proponents of single payer for a long time.” He noted that his union, IATSE, is a leader in single-payer efforts nationally and that commitment was reaffirmed at their recent national convention.
 
The New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, is the state federation of labor representing over 170,000 members counting the families, retirees, and community affiliates throughout New Mexico, said Hendry.
 
Prior to the endorsement, James Besante, a third-year student at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, spoke to the council about H.R. 676 and single-payer health care. In 2012 Besante received the Nicholas Skala Student Activist Award from Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), the 18,000-member organization of doctors that leads in research and advocacy for single payer.
 
In most states PNHP is able to provide speakers to union organizations that are interested in learning how single payer works. info@pnhp.org (312) 782-6006.

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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 51 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers.
 
H.R. 676 has been endorsed by 609 union organizations including 146 Central Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 44 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 & NM).
 
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: http://unionsforsinglepayer.org