On October 17, 2013, the Executive Council of the New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, endorsed HR 676, national single payer health care legislation sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D MI), reports Jon Hendry, President.
New Mexico is the 44rd state AFL-CIO federation to take such action.
President Hendry stated, “We are huge believers in single payer here. There is absolutely no dissent from this unanimous support.” He said he was surprised to learn that formal action to support HR 676 had not been taken earlier. “We are not late,” he said, because “we have been big proponents of single payer for a long time.” He noted that his union, IATSE, is a leader in single payer efforts nationally and that commitment was reaffirmed at their recent national convention.
The New Mexico Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, is the state federation of labor representing over 170,000 members counting the families, retirees, and community affiliates throughout New Mexico, said Hendry.
Prior to the endorsement, James Besante, a third-year student at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, spoke to the council about HR 676 and single payer health care. In 2012 Besante received the Nicholas Skala Student Activist Award from Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), the 18,000-member organization of doctors that leads in research and advocacy for single payer. www.pnhp.org
In most states PNHP is able to provide speakers to union organizations that are interested in learning how single payer works. firstname.lastname@example.org (312) 782-6006.