AFL-CIO Blog

AFL-CIO Now Blog

07/19/2017 11:22 AM
The New Senate Republican 'Repeal and Delay' Plan Means Big Trouble for Your Health Care
The New Senate Republican 'Repeal and Delay' Plan Means Big Trouble for Your Health Care

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has announced that he will schedule a vote the week of July 24 on so-called repeal and delay legislation that would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and push off coming up with a replacement plan until sometime in a future Congress. While he and others are trying to sell this as a way to buy more time for developing a replacement plan—something Senate Republicans have failed to do for seven years—this plan would actually have a devastating impact on health care for millions of people right away.

McConnell says he wants to pass the same legislation Congress did in 2015, which President Barack Obama vetoed. Therefore, we have a clear idea of what will be in his bill and the impact it will have.

Despite being called "repeal and delay," his bill immediately repeals some parts of the ACA, including requirements that individuals have insurance coverage or pay a penalty and that mid-size and large employers offer affordable coverage to full-time employees. It also repeals immediately all of the tax provisions that pay for the ACA, including an investment income tax and an additional Medicare tax that only affect people with high incomes, generally more than $200,000 for singles and $250,000 for couples. The bill delays by two years repeal of the ACA’s financial assistance to help individuals pay insurance premiums and cover high deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs, as well as elimination of federal funding for the expansion of Medicaid to more low-income adults.

Congress’ budget and tax experts have already looked at McConnell’s proposal. They found that it would take insurance away from huge numbers of people within a year of enactment, premiums would spike and insurance companies would start dropping out of the market. Here are some of their key findings:

Massive Cuts in Health Insurance Coverage: In 2018, it would take insurance away from 17 million people. If no replacement plan were in place by 2020, 27 million more people would be uninsured, with that number jumping to 32 million in 2026, including 19 million people cut off from Medicaid.

Huge Increases in Premiums for Individual Coverage: In 2018, premiums for health insurance would jump by 25% compared to what they would be without repeal. In 2020, premiums would be 50% higher than they would have been; in 2026, premiums would be about 100% higher.

Insurance Is No Longer Available to Buy: The individual insurance market would contract dramatically, with many insurers dropping out of the market. By 2020, 50% of the population would live in areas with no insurers selling non-group coverage. About 75% of the population would have no insurer willing to sell them coverage by 2026.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/19/2017 - 13:22

07/19/2017 09:30 AM
'We Celebrate Tonight, but Tomorrow We Pick Up the Battle Again'
'We Celebrate Tonight, but Tomorrow We Pick Up the Battle Again'
Jennifer Smith
Berry Craig

Mary Potter calls Trumpcare "the canary in the coal mine," warning that President Donald Trump and Republican leaders "may be stalled on this, but they are busy, busy, busy on other issues."

She said the GOP also aims to deep-six "senior citizens programs, youth programs."

An attorney and online newspaper publisher in Clinton, Kentucky, Potter belongs to Four Rivers Indivisible, a far western Kentuckydeep southern Illinois branch of the national organization.

Both rural regions are Republican red. That hasn’t stayed the group from protesting GOP efforts to gut or ax the Affordable Care Act.

"I think that while McConnell has to keep up the show to the base by doing everything in his power to repeal Obamacare, the nationwide opposition to Trumpcare-no-care has made it clear that what needs to happen to this bill is for it to disappear," said Leslie McColgin, who heads the group.

When McConnell disappeared indoors at recent Republican-friendly gatherings in Paducah and Mayfield, Four Rivers members and others protested outside.

McConnell dodged the protesters.

McConnell’s office didn’t publicize his visits, though western Kentucky is conservative country that went big for Trump this past November and for McConnell when he won a sixth term in 2014.

Local Democrats think the protests in Trump territory indicate that the ground may be shifting from under the Republicans. McConnell, too, might be in for a tough re-election battle in 2020, they add.

Paducah is the seat of McCracken County, where Trump pocketed 66.4% of the vote. Graves County, whose seat is Mayfield, tilted to Trump, handing him 76.4% of its ballots.

"It has to have had an effect on McConnell that even in Paducah and Mayfield people were motivated enough to find out he was in town and show up to protest," said McColgin, a breast cancer survivor who lives in Lowes, near Paducah.

McColgin was at both protests. Beau Mohon of Graves County showed up at the Mayfield protest.

"I think it made a difference," said Mohon, a member of the Young Democrats who is on the Graves County Democratic Executive Committee with McColgin. "People driving by honked in support. People saw protesters here and not just in Washington, D.C."

Committee member Emily Cornwell, also a Young Democrat, said the apparent demise of Trumpcare is bound to hurt McConnell's chances for re-election in three years. "I don't see how he thinks he has a future in politics the way it finally played out for him."

Meanwhile, Four Rivers folks also have been firing tough questions at Kentucky First District Rep. James Comer at his town halls.

Few lawmakers in Washington are more loyal to McConnell and Trump than Comer, a Tompkinsville Republican.

Comer backed both House versions of Trumpcare. He has voted for every bill the president has supported, according to FiveThirtyEight's Tracking Congress in the Age of Trump: An updating tally of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president.

McColgin, also a member of her local county Democratic Committee, is keeping her powder dry.

"As [McConnell]…moves to the next phase of playing to his base and attempts a straight-up repeal, we must continue the fight, lest this next repeal bill sees the light of day," she said.

The House GOP version of Trumpcare—officially the American Health Care Act—seemed dead, too, but was revised and passed on a second try. The Senate bill is the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

"It will have to be the moderate Republicans that kill the straight-up repeal bill, because the Rand Pauls and Mike Lees will not be ‘no’ votes on that, and the protests cumulatively nationwide are a powerful reminder to those moderates of the stakes if they go down that path," McColgin said.

Aaron Bugg of Paducah cautioned against whooping it up over Trumpcare’s apparent demise.

"They're now pushing for a repeal with no replacement, which will boot 18 million people off of insurance next year, rather than kicking 22 million off gradually," said Bugg, a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, a Bernie Sanders delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and an honorary delegate to the Paducah-based Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council.

He added, "If they can't develop a bill now, can they develop one in under a year? Why the gamble? And if they do repeal, and keep kicking the can down the road, 32 million people will lose insurance over time.

"We have to keep pressure on them and keep demanding improvement, not disassembly."

Council President Jeff Wiggins said the polls clearly show that most Americans like the Affordable Care Act, not Trumpcare.

"The Republicans are trying to take care of the insurance companies, but even the insurance companies came out against this last proposal," added Wiggins, who is also president of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9447 in Calvert City, Kentucky, which also is near Paducah.

"Anybody with a pre-existing condition is doomed with replace or repeal. The Republicans want to go back to the way it was before."

Kay Tillow of Louisville agrees: "One more horror of a plan went down to defeat," said the head of Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care. "We celebrate tonight, but tomorrow we pick up the battle again."

A veteran labor and civil rights activist who was born in Paducah, Tillow declared that "the only real solution is to remove the insurance companies from our health care and move the nation forward to national single payer, improved Medicare for all. It will take a gargantuan movement to make that happen.

"H.R. 676 is now up to 114 co-sponsors, including some southern Blue Dogs. Medicare for y'all."

More than 600 union organizations nationwide—including the Kentucky State AFL-CIO and the Western Kentucky Area Council—have endorsed single payer, according to Tillow.

This guest post from Berry Craig originally appeared at the Kentucky State AFL-CIO.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:30

07/19/2017 09:02 AM
Illinois Young Workers Join Union Retirees to Flex Political Power
Illinois Young Workers Join Union Retirees to Flex Political Power
Activists in Chicago's new INTERGEN Allianc
ARA Chicago

The Chicago Metro Chapter of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, including corresponding secretary of the chapter Bea Lumpkin, recently launched INTERGEN, a coalition focusing on common issues and priorities. The spark for the partnership came in October 2016, when both Illinois Alliance members and young activists attended an early voting rally. Since then, the older and younger activists have teamed up for rallies and protests involving health care, the Fight for 15 ($15 per hour minimum wage) and Tuition Free Illinois.

Lumpkin will celebrate her 99th birthday in less than three weeks. Young activists include members of the labor movement, USW Next Generation (young members of the United Steelworkers), Chicago Young Workers and Chicago Student Action. The coalition members hope that their combined voice will be a stronger barrier to anti-worker and anti-retiree policies seen both locally under Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) and nationally.

"Bea has gotten me involved and made sure that I stay engaged," said Earchiel Johnson, 30, of Chicago Young Workers. "It can be hard to balance work and activism, but Bea makes sure I know when I am needed."

INTERGEN was launched with an all-day conference on June 17. Activists shared their stories about why they started working for justice and met in caucuses to work on the future of the alliance. The day focused on topics like raising the minimum wage, combating student debt, and saving health care, Social Security and pensions.

The launch was videotaped to make a short documentary available to all.

With Lumpkin’s help, INTERGEN now faces many emergencies in home health care collapse, school closings and lapsed union contracts.

"Bea is a historian and a labor treasure," added Elijah Edwards, 36, vice president of Chicago Young Workers and an AFSCME official. "She is the physical embodiment of what labor represents, always standing up for those who have had their civil rights trampled.

"We met during the campaign to revitalize the Pullman area of Chicago."

This post originally appeared at the Alliance for Retired Americans.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/19/2017 - 11:02

07/19/2017 08:30 AM
An Alternative Religious Perspective on Religious Exemption Laws
An Alternative Religious Perspective on Religious Exemption Laws
Pride @ Work
Pride @ Work

While the past several years have been full of major victories for the LGBTQ movement, there are still many battles to be won. In the past several years, the work of the LGBTQ movement’s opposition has turned to so-called religious freedom exemption laws. Notable examples of these laws and their backlash had been seen in states like Indiana (Senate Bill 101), under then-Gov. Mike Pence.

This issue is especially poignant again. The Supreme Court will hear a case from a baker in Colorado who refused service to LGBTQ customers. These religious exemption laws allow businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ people by refusing to provide goods and services based on the owners’ religious beliefs. More alarmingly, public officials, such as law enforcement and those who issue marriage licenses, also would be allowed to deny service to LGBTQ people.

These laws, which are clear violations of constitutional equal protection, claim to protect religious freedom for those of faith.

For the past six weeks, I have been interning with Pride At Work (P@W) through a program with the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC). The RAC is the governmental advocacy arm of the Reform Jewish community, the largest denomination of Judaism in the United States. It fills a unique space in Washington as one of few largely progressive religious voices in Washington. My experiences with the Religious Action Center and Reform Judaism have proven to me that there is not one singular, anti-LGBTQ religious voice; religion also can be a force to include, celebrate and protect LGBTQ people.

I came to work in the labor movement on a very different path then most. My work at P@W stems from my passion for LGBTQ equality. Before working here, I knew very little about the labor movement, its history or its present. Upon arriving in the halls of the AFL-CIO, I learned that the labor movement and the civil rights movement are one and the same, exemplified in leaders for social justice like A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin. Pride At Work was founded with this same belief, that the fight for the rights of working people and fight for the rights of all other marginalized groups are inherently linked.

The work I am doing here in Washington, D.C., this summer is at the intersection of three forces working for a more just society: my religion, the LGBTQ movement and the labor movement.

Reform Judaism, as the other Abrahamic religions (Christianity and Islam), teaches of the intrinsic equality of all people. All were created, "in the image of God," according to Genesis 1:26-28. There is a religious imperative to ensure the equality of all people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation because all people are created as a reflection of the Divine. The Religious Action Center writes that, "Each of us, created in God’s image, has a unique talent, with which we can contribute to the high moral purpose of the repair[ing] of our world."

Because of my faith’s teachings on the equality and sacredness of all people, and the creeds of equality pushed for by both the LGBTQ and labor movements, this point is where the fight to oppose religious exemption legislation has a moral imperative. Religious exemption laws are not only bad for the LGBTQ community; they are bad for working people, as well as the actual religious freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.

These so-called religious freedom laws are a direct affront to religious freedom in the United States. This country was founded with the principle of protecting the government and religions from each other’s dominance and infringement. These laws overstep the constitutional limitations placed on the government by the First Amendment and directly contradict the protections ensured for all people by the 14th Amendment. The Religious Action Center stated that, "Unlike needed federal religious liberty protections, the Indiana bill, like other state bills pretending to protect religious freedom, is in reality opening the door to discrimination against minorities and vulnerable populations. We can and must safeguard religious freedom without trampling on the rights of LGBT Americans and other communities in need of protection."

We must all put our differences aside and fight to oppose the proposition and passage of religious exemption laws in all states and on a federal level. The labor movement needs to unite with people of faith and the LGBTQ community because these laws are bad for all three of these groups—and indeed everyone.

So how will we do this? Ensuring that we are allies to all who fight for equality and truth is vital to furthering our own causes. Intersectionality and diversity are the keys to coalition building. We must promote these principles in all aspects of our work and lives. Labor unions and religious institutions need to stick up for the rights of LGBTQ people, and the LGBTQ movement needs to stick up for the right of working people because, "an injury to one is an injury to all."

When I return to my studies in Massachusetts this fall, I will ensure that my work and the work of the groups I partner with are being good allies. I will take the positive example of allyship working at its best, as exemplified by the work of Pride At Work and the Religious Action Center, and apply these principles to the work I do with organizations like my school’s interfaith dialogue and social justice club.

What will you and your organization do to be a good ally and oppose religious exemption laws in your own constituency?

Andrew Schloss is an intern with Pride At Work, where this post originally appeared, through a partnership with the Religious Action Center of Reformed Judaism.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/19/2017 - 10:30

07/18/2017 03:20 PM
Shuler in Washington: Make Unions Home of Emerging Majority
Shuler in Washington: Make Unions Home of Emerging Majority
WSLC Convention 2017
WSLC

At the Washington State Labor Council's annual convention, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler gave a speech about the future of the labor movement. Among the key things Shuler discussed is the labor movement's efforts to modernize using the best technology and techniques and a renewed focus on unity as a driving principle necessary for a successful path forward.

Shuler spoke of the importance of working people's voice on the job and the labor movement's role in protecting those voices:

Our number one seller is a great contract and a voice on the job. And we are the only watchdog out there that is sounding the alarms about how companies like Amazon and Uber are using 21st century technology as an excuse for 19th century labor practices. We won’t let them get away with it. The labor movement is all about innovation and disruption…but it must be used as a tool for broadly shared prosperity, not more corporate greed.

Building on the convention theme of "Resist. Persist," Shuler touched on some of the important battles nationally:

We are resisting the Republican health care bill that would result in 22 million more people being uninsured, including nearly 300,000 in Washington. We are resisting President Trump’s budget, which cuts Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to give more tax cuts to the rich. With the help of leaders like Attorney General Bob Ferguson and Judge James Robart, we are resisting the Trump administration’s unconstitutional and immoral travel ban. And we are resisting attacks on collective bargaining, workplace safety and public education. So while President Trump may have won the election, he hasn’t yet won a single major policy fight.

She expanded upon the unity theme as well:

And while we’re talking about building for the future, we should also make unions the home of the people we used to call “minorities,” but who are now the emerging majority. We know the stats, that by 2055, whites will account for less than half of the U.S. population. We also know that a union contract is the best tool for achieving justice for ALL working people—but with 90% of America not in unions, and more young people unaware of what it means to be in a union, we have a big job to do to show the emerging majority that unions fight for them.

For example, women are half the workforce and will be half the union movement in 10 years. We need equal pay—let’s show that a union is the best way to achieve that. And while we’re at it, let’s move more women into the leadership of our unions to show that we are a movement for women. Young people need better jobs and less debt—we can be on the front lines of the college affordability debate and pushing for more resources for apprenticeship and training to show we’re relevant and a path forward for them. People of color want access to good jobs and a justice system that doesn't discriminate—let’s be their best advocate. Immigrants need a path to citizenship and protection from deportation. LGBTQ people need to stop being fired and bullied because of who they are. Let’s help the emerging majority connect the dots and show them that unions are the answer!

Read the full speech for more on the AFL-CIO's efforts to guarantee the freedom of working people to come together and negotiate for a fair return on our work.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/18/2017 - 17:20

07/18/2017 07:25 AM
Why Machinists Union Members Are to Thank for the Closest-Ever Images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot
Why Machinists Union Members Are to Thank for the Closest-Ever Images of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot
Juno photos from IAM
IAM

Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a swirling gas storm more than double the size of Earth, is getting a close-up. The mesmerizing photos being taken from just above the planet’s surface are due in large part to the skill of Machinists (IAM) union members.

IAM members built and launched Juno, a spacecraft now orbiting our solar system’s largest gas giant. Juno passed over the giant storm this week as it continued a series of close passes around the gaseous world more than 365 million miles away.

The photos are breathtaking—and we have fellow Machinists members to thank.

Juno was built by IAM Local 44 members at Lockheed Martin in Decatur, Alabama, and launched, in 2011, by IAM Local 610 members at United Launch Alliance in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NASA scientists hope the Juno mission will answer long unanswered questions about the mysterious gas giant, including why its Great Red Spot appears to be shrinking.

See more images and follow Juno’s historic journey.

This post originally appeared at IAM.

Kenneth Quinnell Tue, 07/18/2017 - 09:25

07/17/2017 09:38 AM
Farm Workers Demand North Carolina Governor Veto Racist Bill
Farm Workers Demand North Carolina Governor Veto Racist Bill
Eli Porras
Eli Porras

This is a guest post written by Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) member Eli Porras and translated FLOC organizer Catherine Crowe.

It is of utmost importance that the governor of North Carolina veto Farm Bill S. 615. I consider it to be a racist bill that tries to give power back to growers so they can take advantage of workers. I am a witness that organizations and unions like the Farm Labor Organizing Committee are of incredible value. For seven years, I have come from Mexico to work in the fields of North Carolina through the H2A Visa program. In 2013, my wife had to have an emergency surgery, and I returned to Mexico. Before leaving, my boss told me that I wouldn’t have any issues returning the next year. However, when I went to visit the labor recruiter in Mexico the following year, they told me that I was permanently ineligible to return. With the help of FLOC, I filed a grievance and won my job back!

Now they are attacking our union. The North Carolina General Assembly just passed Farm Bill S. 615 with an anti-union amendment snuck in at the last minute by a farmer elected to the North Carolina legislature. This added amendment aims to stop the progress that farm workers are achieving by making it illegal for farmers to deduct dues from union members. If my grower wasn’t allowed to deduct dues, it would add yet another barrier to organizing, and we would have to depend more on donations to sustain our union. This bill also would make it more difficult for farm workers to win new union contracts. Farm Bill S. 615 is a shameful abuse of power that aims at stopping our union from being able to help those who need it. Thanks to the union, I have a job in this great country, and that is why I am calling on the governor to veto this bill. Please join me in solidarity by adding your name to the petition!

Sign the petition supporting farm workers in North Carolina.

Kenneth Quinnell Mon, 07/17/2017 - 11:38

07/14/2017 11:10 AM
STRIKE AVERTED: Management Threatens the Future of NPR by Not Providing Employees with a Fair Return on Their Work
STRIKE AVERTED: Management Threatens the Future of NPR by Not Providing Employees with a Fair Return on Their Work
We Make NPR
SAG-AFTRA

Update: SAG-AFTRA and NPR have reached a tentative deal on a 3-year successor contract.

Even at a time of great political division, there is broad consensus that National Public Radio provides a tremendous service. The journalism produced by NPR includes investigations that expose corruption, podcasts that make audiences think, Tiny Desk Concerts that wow and amaze, and coverage of an incredibly broad range of important and interesting issues. Unfortunately, NPR is using contract negotiations with SAG-AFTRA to propose a second class of minimum pay and benefits for new employees. This would undermine the quality work that NPR journalists have provided us, as a country, for many decades.

The SAG-AFTRA members say it best themselves:

We stand unified and strong because we have a common cause: a fair workplace with equal pay for equal work, fair benefits for all, and a codified structure for resolving disputes. We thank our colleagues both inside and outside of our union who have supported our fight for fairness. They, too, make NPR what it is today, and what it can be in the future with a respected workforce.

Here are some Tweets from SAG-AFTRA members:

 

 

 

 

Sign the Change.org petition in support of the NPR employees, and learn more about the negotiations and the future of NPR.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/14/2017 - 13:10

07/14/2017 09:01 AM
Hard Work Pays Off: Worker Wins
Hard Work Pays Off: Worker Wins
Familias Unidas por la Justicia
Familias Unidas por la Justicia

Our latest roundup of worker wins begins with several stories of workers joining together and persevering over years to achieve victory. Other successes range from firefighters working together to improve safety to New York Times staffers walking out in support of copy editors.

Hotel Workers Win 16-Year Fight to Join Together in Union: Workers at the DoubleTree in Santa Monica, Calif., have been fighting for their freedom to negotiate together since 2001. The workers announced their victory last month, saying they “sought dignity, good salaries, benefits and job security.”

Farmworkers in Washington’s Skagit Valley Win First Contract: After five years of hard work, farmworkers at Sakuma in Washington state’s Skagit Valley have won their first contract. The workers, members of Familias Unidas por la Justicia, overwhelmingly approved the contract, which increases wages, bars discrimination, establishes seniority, creates a grievance procedure and improves disciplinary procedures.

IAFF Testifies in Support of National Cancer Registry for Firefighters: IAFF testified before the House Health Subcommittee in support of the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. The legislation would create a registry to collect detailed information about firefighters with cancer across the U.S. The research would help us understand the link between firefighting and cancer, and could lead to improvements in safety and prevention.

National Grid Agrees to Hire IBEW Members for Granite State Power Link Project: IBEW Local 104 negotiated a memorandum of understanding with National Grid and Citizens Energy that will create as many as 2,000 jobs in the construction of the Granite State Power Link electric transmission project. The project will bring electricity to the U.S. from Canada.

Texas Fire Fighters Successfully Lobby to Improve Workers’ Compensation for Members with PTSD: The Texas State Association of Fire Fighters successfully lobbied for legislation that will improve workers’ compensation coverage for first responders with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Connecticut State Employees Reach Deal to Avoid Layoffs: State workers in Connecticut reached a deal that will save as many as 4,200 jobs. The agreement freezes wages for three years and cuts pension and health care benefits, but the contract’s length was extended to 10 years.

Employees at New York Times Walk Out to Protest Cuts: After proposed cuts, staffers at The New York Times walked out in support of copy editors. The proposals could lead to half of the Times’ copy editing staff losing their jobs.

SAG-AFTRA Reaches Agreement with Film and TV Studios: SAG-AFTRA has reached a tentative deal with the major film and television studios on a three-year contract. Details were not released, and the deal must still be ratified.

Kenneth Quinnell Fri, 07/14/2017 - 11:01

07/12/2017 09:26 AM
Nurses Speak Out Against Trumpcare
Nurses Speak Out Against Trumpcare
Nurse Sandy Falwell
Washington DC Metro Labor Council

The list of people and organizations opposing the Republican health care scam continues to grow. Sandy Falwell, a registered nurse in Washington, D.C., and vice president of National Nurses United (NNU), recently spoke to reporters about her objections. Here are excerpts from her comments:

As registered nurses, we recognize that this is an extremely mean-spirited and callous bill that would substantially harm our patients. We can tell you, from years of experience serving our patients at the bedside in hospitals and health care facilities, that this bill poses a mortal threat to the health and well-being of our country—all to give massive tax breaks to the richest people in this country and to the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries.

Nurses have a professional and ethical obligation to advocate for our patients, and we take that obligation very seriously. We also believe that we all have a responsibility to act as a community, together—to take care of one another. Because of this, we will continue to speak out against any plan to cut funding to Medicaid and Medicare, or to exclude any person from accessing health care due to policy or inability to pay.

Instead of kicking tens of millions of people off of health insurance, we need to move forward to the only system that will guarantee that everyone has access to safe, therapeutic health care—a single-payer, Medicare-for-all system.

It is not good enough for Democrats to simply defend the Affordable Care Act—it has left 28 million people uninsured, and allowed out-of-pocket costs for premiums, copays and deductibles to skyrocket. This is also unacceptable. Registered nurses not only oppose the deadly Republican health bill, but we are strongly urging Democrats and Republicans to pass a single-payer health care system so that every single person living in the United States has access to health care as a basic human right.

And this is what Americans want to see. A poll by Pew Research, published just last week, showed that 60% of Americans believe the federal government should be responsible for ensuring health coverage for all Americans.

On behalf of the 150,000 registered nurses represented by National Nurses United, who work at the bedside caring for everyone who lives in this nation when they are sick, I urge the Senate to continue to reject the atrocious Better Care Reconciliation Act and to instead move forward with a single-payer system to ensure guaranteed health care for all.

NNU has been outspoken in their opposition to Republican health care proposals. Read more about their specific objections.

Kenneth Quinnell Wed, 07/12/2017 - 11:26