Borough of Ambridge, PA Urges Congress to Pass HR 676 – Single Payer National Healthcare

Ambridge Council
Ambridge Council
by Randy Shannon

Ambridge Borough Council recently passed a resolution endorsing single payer healthcare and calling on Congress to enact HR 676. A copy of the resolution is to be forwarded to all Pennsylvania representatives in the US Congress.

Ambridge was founded in 1905 by the American Bridge Company on the site of land formerly owned by the Harmonist Society. The structural steel for many of the great bridges in the USA was made in Ambridge. Ambridge was a key battleground in the struggles that led to the founding of the CIO and of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee. Ambridge has experienced a severe economic downturn since the decline of the steel industry began in the 1980’s, and is struggling to survive in the new economic crisis.

The Borough currently pays out over $391,000 per year in medical insurance premiums. Under HR 676 the Borough’s healthcare expenses would be reduced to the mandated 5.95% payroll tax, or just under $77,000 per year. National Healthcare would save Ambridge Borough about $26,000 per month in healthcare insurance premiums.

Ambridge Mayor “Buzzy” Notarianni remarked that a national single payer healthcare system would make a big difference in the lives of Ambridge residents. He stated: “I have looked over HR676, and I am all for it. It would relieve a lot of stress in the community. The savings could be used to reduce debt and taxes, reopen the Ambridge pool, which has been closed since 1995, pave streets, hire full time police officers, and build badly needed recreation facilities for our young people.”

Please click on the ‘Ambridge Borough HR676 Resolution’ tab at the top of the website to read the resolution.

Portland IBEW Local Endorses HR 676 – Medicare for All

Portland, Oregon. The 4,000 member IBEW Local 48 has voted to endorse HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

Dana Welty, Oregon Nurses Association, and Tom Leedham, IBT Local 206, made a joint presentation on HR 676 to the February membership meeting but the endorsement of HR 676 was tabled until the next meeting so that members could familiarize themselves more on the issue, reports Ray Kenny, a member of IBEW Local 48.

Kenny led a group of activists in the local who then worked the phones, leafleted the bigger job sites and distributed single payer buttons. Their work paid off with the overwhelming endorsement of HR 676 at the following membership meeting.

Kenny said: “Our members were outraged that Senator Wyden’s plan would not only keep insurance companies in the mix, but would actually tax the value of the negotiated coverage we have now.”

IMF Economist: The Real Story of US Financial Crisis and How to Solve It

The Quiet Coup

by Simon Johnson

The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government—a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF’s staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation: recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform. And if we are to prevent a true depression, we’re running out of time.

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