Beyond Obamacare: Why Labor Deserves Better

A presentation by Dr. Andrew Coates

Labor Beat, May 16, 2014

On YouTube at:

This video provides a clear overview of the national health care crisis, the inadequacies of Obamacare, and the argument for an 'everybody in, nobody out' single-payer health program. Andrew D. Coates, M.D., gives a motivating presentation of the basics in this debate, backed up by selected PowerPoint graphics prepared by Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition. 

Dr. Coates has many titles (President, PNHP; Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Albany Medical College; Chief of Hospital Medicine, Samaritan Hospital, Troy, NY; Medical Director, Albany County Nursing Home). The talk was recorded at Access Living in Chicago on May 8, 2014.

Dr. Coates concludes that insurers are selling an "unaffordable, defective product" as he compares the U.S. health care system to other industrialized countries. We are a nation of uninsured and increasingly under-insured, facing staggering household debt from medical bills, and in particular exposing under-insured children, women, minorities and retirees to increasing fatality rates and poor health, in order to satisfy a market solution to health care.

He points to the 2013 AFL-CIO resolution's "commitment to pursue health care for all ultimately through a single-payer system" as an important step forward. 

Dr. Coates calls upon the union movement: "I think that for the trade union movement that if we speak out for what it means for all working people we're talking about liberating the whole country here with basic economic rights, the right to necessary care. Then we find a way forward for the whole trade union movement. The unions they have the expertise, they know how to lead us forward, they know exactly how to organize people, how to fight ... and it's going to take a fight. There's no shortcut."

Length - 25:52

Besides YouTube, this video is also archived at It will be broadcast on Chicago Access Network Television.