Celebrate Medicare’s 50th Birthday, July 30, 2015

July 27, 2015

On July 30, 2015, more than 60 cities will celebrate the 50th Birthday of Medicare, our nation’s single payer health care system for seniors, and call on Congress and the public to Protect it, Improve it, and Expand it (PIE) to cover all.
Medicare brought care and dignity to seniors, ended much suffering, extended lives, and lifted millions from poverty.  Medicare desegregated the nation’s hospitals by making payment contingent on ending discrimination.  Medicare shows what federal funding based on sound public policy can do for social justice.
This year’s celebrations call for protecting Medicare from those who would cut it or turn it into a voucher;  improving Medicare for it still omits crucial dental, inadequately covers drugs, and leaves many unable to pay for care;  and expanding Medicare so that it covers all ages with no exceptions.
The celebrations call for passage of national single payer legislation, HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka has urged unions to participate in the Medicare celebrations.  His message to affiliates is here.
The city celebrations are listed here.
Physicians for a National Health Program has announced a national call-in day on July 30, 2015, to urge lawmakers to become co-sponsors of HR 676.  Current HR 676 co-sponsors are here.  You can call your representative at the Capitol Switchboard number, 202-224-3121.
PNHP physicians have appeared in newspapers in many cities advocating an end to private for-profit health insurance by moving to improved Medicare for All.  Many of those Op Eds can be seen here.
In Washington, DC
Also on July 30, 2015, Rep. John Conyers, lead sponsor of H.R. 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act, will hold a congressional briefing, moderated by veteran journalist Bill Moyers, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2237.  The event can be seen at this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqopRQ1kT-s&feature=youtu.be
For further details contact Congressman Conyers’ Legislative Assistant, Erik Sperling at erik.sperling@mail.house.gov.
At 9:30 on the morning of July 30, National Nurses United and others will hold a “Medicare turns 50” rally in Upper Senate Park, across Constitution Avenue from the Capitol followed by congressional lobbying.  Further details are here.
Join an event near you!
Issued by:
All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676
c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)
1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218
Louisville, KY 40217
(502) 636 1551

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Chicago Stagehands Local 2 Endorses HR 676, National Single Payer Legislation

July 20, 2015

Chicago Stagehands Local 2 Endorses HR 676, National Single Payer Legislation
Thomas Cleary, Secretary-Treasurer of Stagehands Local 2 in Chicago, reports that his local has wholeheartedly endorsed HR 676, Congressman John Conyers’ national single payer health care legislation, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.

“I would rather see my members’ contributions go to their personal wellness than to another nameless insurance company’s administrative costs,” Cleary said.

“The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, made it possible for some of the uninsured to find coverage, but did not resolve the problem that health insurance companies are providing inadequate coverage and pricing care beyond our means,” states the Local 2 resolution.

The resolution notes the difficulties that all unions are having in negotiations over health care and asserts that the Excise Tax of 2018, the so-called “Cadillac Tax”, will make things worse.

“HR 676 would save billions of dollars annually by eliminating the administrative burdens, overhead, and profits of the private health insurance industry and apply those savings to improved and expanded coverage for all,” the resolution concludes.

Hale Landes, a member of IBEW Local 134 and labor outreach chair of the Illinois Single Payer Coalition, and Bill Bianchi of Illinois Progressive Democrats of America organized to bring the single payer resolution to Local 2 leaders.

Local 2 is affiliated with International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE), a union that has played a major role in galvanizing support for single payer in locals around the country.

IATSE Local 2 is the 620th labor organization to endorse HR 676.  The local also passed a resolution supporting the Illinois legislation, HB 108, introduced by State Representative Mary Flowers.