Updated August 7, 2020
Our health care system fails to provide quality care to every U.S. resident and wastes hundreds of billions of dollars a year in unnecessary administrative costs. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further highlighted the need to completely overhaul U.S. health care. A Medicare for All single-payer system — supported by UE since 1943 — would expand and improve the cost-effective and administratively efficient Medicare program to finance comprehensive, high-quality health care for everybody in the U.S.
Over the course of last year, UE conducted a “How to Fix Healthcare” workshop with UE members around the country. Part of the workshop includes members filling out a healthcare costs calculator to figure out how much they are already paying for healthcare — and it turns out that many UE members are spending between 15 and 25 percent of their income on healthcare costs, between premium shares, co-pays and deductibles. In addition to the cost, UE members are facing ever-greater limits on when and where they can use their benefits.
Medicare for All would not only save most union members (and other working people) money, it would take healthcare off the bargaining table, where employers regularly hold it over our heads.
- RSVP for an upcoming COVID-19 Public Education Webinar
- Save the date of a National Day of Action on Saturday, August 22. Watch this page for more information as that date gets closer.
COVID-19 has had devastating impacts on all facets of our lives, including our health, our livelihoods, and our communities. These impacts, far from being isolated, intersect in a plethora of ways, and understanding those intersections is critical to facing them, and ultimately overcoming them.
Join UE ally National Nurses United for a five-part webinar series that will break down the challenges caused by the pandemic, the underlying problems that have helped make these challenges worse, and what we can do to solve these problems. You can join all five webinars, some, or just one, depending on your interests:
Protecting Workers’ Lives and Livelihoods in Times of Crisis
Thursday, July 30 at 8pm ET/5pm PT
Essential Work, Gender Health Equity, and COVID-19
Thursday, August 6 at 8pm ET/5pm PT
Call your Member of Congress NOW at (202) 858-1717 and tell them to co-sponsor H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act.
Then get your co-workers, friends and family to call.
Other Ways to Take Action
- Download a leaflet to pass out in the shop
- Share this Fact sheet about the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act with your co-workers
- Write a letter to the editor of your local paper
- Join a Medicare for All action near you
- Healthcare Cost Calculator Worksheet — use it to figure out how much you and your coworkers are already paying for healthcare (Updated January 2020)
In February 2019 Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) introduced H.R. 1384, To establish an improved Medicare for All national health insurance program. In April, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) introduced a companion bill in the Senate, S. 1129.
- The bill will guarantee quality, therapeutic care to every person in the United States.
- There will be a comprehensive package of benefits, including primary care, hospital and outpatient services, prescription drugs, dental, vision, audiology, women’s reproductive health services, maternity and newborn care, long-term care services and supports, mental health and substance abuse treatment, laboratory and diagnostic services, ambulatory services and more.
- Patients will have the complete freedom to choose the doctors, hospitals and other providers they wish to see without worrying about whether a provider is “in network.”
- There will be no premiums, no co-pays and no deductibles—and no charges whatsoever at the point of service.
- The bill preserves the ability of veterans to receive their medical benefits and services through the Veterans Administration if they wish, and of Native Americans to receive their medical benefits and services through the Indian Health Service, if they wish.
UE Fights for Medicare for All
Recent UE NEWS coverage of UE members taking action for Medicare for All:
- Local 150 Rallies Demand Medicare for All, Union Rights
- UE Convention Demands Medicare for All (October 2019)
- Charlotte City Workers Union Urges Passage of Federal Medicare for All Bill (September 2019)
- UE-Unifor “Blitz” Builds Local 150, Southern Workers Launch Healthcare Campaign (June 2019)
- UE Members Press Congresswoman to Support Medicare for All (May 2019)
- Wisconsin Locals Continue Push for Medicare for All (May 2019)
- Full text & summaries of H.R. 1384 from Rep. Jayapal's office
- UE Policy: Healthcare for All
- Single Payer: Improved Medicare for All brochure from Healthcare-NOW! (Updated January 2019)
- Economic Analysis of Medicare for All by researchers Robert Pollin, James Heintz, Peter Arno, Jeannette Wicks-Lim and Michael Ash (Nov 2018)