AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and Medicare For All
|Why did AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka diss Medicare for All over the
Labor Day weekend?
According to Reuters, Trumka stressed a preference for the so-called public
option, a tax-subsidized plan in competition with all the current private
health insurance plans in an enhanced marketplace.
He quotes former Vice-President Joe Biden, who asserts that this
marketplace is necessary to maintain existing union-negotiated plans and
that an improved Medicare for All would likely deliver poorer benefits to
union members than those private plans.
Trouble is, the AFL-CIO membership, through their convention delegates,
affirmed their preference for the social insurance model, Medicare for All,
at the federation’s 2009 Pittsburgh convention, and even more clearly in
2017 in Saint Louis.
The fact of the matter is that the expanded and improved Medicare for All
bills in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate, and in many state legislatures,
provide benefits that far exceed the best of the negotiated plans.
Furthermore, Labor’s taking the lead in winning a truly universal health
plan, one that establishes a single high standard of care for all of us,
constitutes a profound act of solidarity. We’ve seen the evil that’s
generated in society by those who glory in their own successes and have
nothing but distain for those lacking those benefits.
The members have a clear preference for Medicare for All, as reflected in
Resolution #34 of the 2009 AFL-CIO Convention and in Resolution #6 of 2017.
The federation’s officers are mandated to follow the will of the members so
expressed rather than the concerns of corporate Democrats and their allied
Trump will not be defeated and this country will not be turned around by
such antics. We must continue to raise such a clamor for healthcare justice
that such leaders will not be able to turn a deaf ear. Unite around a plan
of action, not of retreat!
Sandy Eaton, RN
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