Fight for Medicare for All, Single-Payer Healthcare

Updated November 24, 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.

2021 Medicare for All Strategy Conference

The 2021 Medicare for All Strategy Conference will be held online on January 23 and 24, 2021. The early-bird registration price of $35 is only available until December 18, so register today!

In order to register, you will need to have a credit or debit card. Here is the process:

  1. Click on this link to register. In addition to a credit card, you will need to provide your name, address, cell phone number and an email address.
  2. Once you purchase your “ticket” to the event, you will be asked to set up an account on the “Sched” app. This is where you will select workshops starting January 1. 

The organizers are working to make this online event as participatory and interactive as possible. Workshops will consist of short presentations, with most of the hour dedicated to breakout sessions for discussion. Some workshops will be geared to those who are fairly new to the issue while others will target activists who have already been in the trenches for quite a while. There will also be opportunities to meet other participants during caucuses, workshop breakouts, and Happy Hours hosted on the social networking platform Gather.

Take Action

The Legislation

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:

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