The 38th convention of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
(IBEW) has endorsed single payer health as a solution to the nation’s
health care crisis.
The 3,000 delegates who attended the IBEW convention called upon “…our
international officers (to) do everything in their power and authority to
work with other groups and elected officials to build support and action
for universal single payer health insurance….”
The IBEW represents over 725,000 members in the United States and Canada
and is one of the largest building trades unions affiliated with the
AFL-CIO. The September 2011 convention was held in Vancouver, Canada.
Ed Hill, IBEW International Union President who presided at the
convention, said afterwards:
“The IBEW believes that single-payer health insurance in the United States
is a worthy long-term goal. While a national single-payer system
currently has little chance of becoming a reality in the near future, the
38th IBEW International Convention wanted to go on record in support of
the concept in order to help nudge the debate forward and keep the issue
in front of elected officials.”
Resolution 60 on single payer, which was submitted by IBEW Local 23 in St.
Paul, Minnesota, and passed by the convention, cites the fact that the
United States is spending 16 percent of our Gross Domestic Product on
health care but:
“…(T)he battle with employers is on-going concerning the increases in
health care costs; battles which for the most part we are losing in the
form of costs being passed on to our members;”
Resolution 60 states that, “…(R)etirees who have previously sacrificed to
obtain health care benefits are now being stripped of those benefits;”
and says that “a universal single payer health care plan would reduce
wasteful costs to all Americans while continuing to provide excellent
health care coverage.”
Resolution 60 also calls for sending a copy of the resolution “… to all
elected officials in the United States House and Senate and to all elected
HR 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a
greatly improved Medicare system to everyone residing in the U. S.
HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including
prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and
preventive care, emergency services, dental (including oral surgery,
periodontics, endodontics), mental health, home health, physical therapy,
rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care and
correction, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable
medical equipment, palliative care, podiatric care, and long term care.
HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments. HR 676 would save hundreds of
billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the
private health insurance industry and HMOs.
In the current Congress, HR 676 has 70 co-sponsors in addition to Conyers.
HR 676 has been endorsed by 585 union organizations in 49 states including
138 Central Labor Councils and Area Labor Federations and 39 state
AFL-CIO’s (KY, PA, CT, OH, DE, ND, WA, SC, WY, VT, FL, WI, WV, SD, NC, MO,
MN, ME, AR, MD-DC, TX, IA, AZ, TN, OR, GA, OK, KS, CO, IN, AL, CA, AK, MI,
MT, NE, NY, NV & MA).
For further information, a list of union endorsers, or a sample
endorsement resolution, contact:
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