Adopted by the Michigan State AFL-CIO
Whereas, Health care in the United States remains a national disgrace and in the throes of a crisis of cost, accessibility and quality; and
Whereas, Health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket and more than 80% of all employers increased employee co-payments and premium contributions; and
Whereas, These increases have helped sustain a climate of concessionary bargaining, pushing down wages, causing bitter strikes and lockouts and shifting more and more of the costs onto the backs of workers; and
Whereas, This cost increase has triggered attacks on Public Sector workers and retirees; and
Whereas, Tens of thousands of retired workers stand to lose all or part of their hard won “lifetime” health coverage as 80% of all large companies have plans to require retirees to pay more for their coverage, and 20% of Fortune 500 companies plan to eliminate it altogether; and
Whereas, The employment based system of health coverage puts benefits at risk every time workers face a lay-off, change jobs or go on strike; and
Whereas, All other industrialized countries provide comprehensive coverage to all citizens as a fundamental human right, putting U. S. manufacturing employers and workers at a global competitive disadvantage; and
Whereas, More and more friends, neighbors and family members have no health coverage at all as the number of uninsured Americans climbs past 47 million; and
Whereas, Americans pay more for healthcare than any other country in the world and yet rank 28th in infant mortality, 24th in life expectancy
Whereas, A just health care system would provide cradle-to-grave coverage for all Americans through a public insurance fund and a private health care system with free choice of doctors, hospitals and clinics; and
Whereas, Taking the profit out of health care and incorporating a fair financing system will ensure a just transition for all displaced health industry workers while providing that 95% of all taxpayers will save money; and
Whereas, The Affordable Care Act has been supported as a preliminary step and will improve access to healthcare for millions of Americans. However, millions more will still be without health insurance, profit will still drive healthcare policy and healthcare costs will still be the biggest cause of strikes, lockouts and concessionary bargaining; now
Therefore be it resolved, That the Michigan State AFL-CIO joins with our brothers and sisters across the country, in the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, to advocate, educate and organize around the following principles:
- Access to comprehensive health care is a human right. It is the responsibility of society, through its government, to assure this right. Coverage should not be tied to employment. Private insurance firms’ past record disqualifies them from a central role in managing health care.
- The right to choose and change one’s physician is fundamental to patient autonomy. Patients should be free to seek care from any licensed health care professional.
- Pursuit of corporate profit and personal fortune has no place in care giving and they create enormous waste. The U.S. already spends enough to provide comprehensive health care to all Americans with no increase in total costs. However, the vast health care resources now squandered on bureaucracy (mostly due to efforts to divert costs to other payers or onto patients themselves), profits, marketing, and useless or even harmful medical interventions must be shifted to needed care.
- In a democracy, the public should set overall health policies. Personal medical decisions must be made by patients with their caregivers, not by corporate or government bureaucrats; and
Therefore be it resolved, That the Michigan AFL-CIO joins the Labor Campaign for Single Payer, and actively endorses and promotes Resolution 34, from the AFL-CIO Convention Resolutions; and
Be it finally resolved, That the Michigan State AFL-CIO supports, and urges our federal and state legislators to enact legislation that embodies the principles of a national single payer healthcare system and that a copy of this resolution be sent to our federal and state legislators.