Treasurer, PA 4th CD Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America
At the last monthly meeting of the Central Labor Council of Beaver-Lawrence Counties in 2009 a sharp difference was drawn between the corporate and labor views of healthcare reform. On Monday December 21st at 7:35pm, the meeting was called to order by President Dennis Bloom and the regular business was conducted.
Then Labor Council members and guests invited for Holiday festivities after the meeting were addressed by Frank Snyder, the AFL-CIO Representative to Pennsylvania. He brought members up to date on labor’s role and outlook in the battle for healthcare reform. He also passed out a Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on the Health Care Bill released on Dec. 17, 2009.
The statement says: “The absolute refusal of Republicans in the Senate to support health care reform and the hijacking of the bill by defenders of the insurance industry has brought us a Senate bill that is inadequate.”
The statement pointed to three changes in the Senate bill that were necessary. A public health insurance option is needed to break the insurance companies’ stranglehold over consumers. Employers must pay their fair share. And taxing the insurance benefits of workers is not the way to pay for reform.
AFL-CIO President Trumka’s statement ends with: “The House bill is the model for genuine health care reform.”
As AFL-CIO Representative Frank Snyder finished speaking, Congressman Jason Altmire came into the meeting. Altmire took the floor and said: “The House health care bill is dead.” He said that the Senate bill is much better than the House bill and that he would like to vote for a health care bill that is more like the Senate bill.