Thomas Cleary, Secretary-Treasurer of Stagehands Local 2 in Chicago, reports that his local has wholeheartedly endorsed HR 676, Congressman John Conyers’ national single payer health care legislation, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.
“I would rather see my members’ contributions go to their personal wellness than to another nameless insurance company’s administrative costs,” Cleary said.
“The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, made it possible for some of the uninsured to find coverage, but did not resolve the problem that health insurance companies are providing inadequate coverage and pricing care beyond our means,” states the Local 2 resolution.
The resolution notes the difficulties that all unions are having in negotiations over health care and asserts that the Excise Tax of 2018, the so-called “Cadillac Tax”, will make things worse.
“HR 676 would save billions of dollars annually by eliminating the administrative burdens, overhead, and profits of the private health insurance industry and apply those savings to improved and expanded coverage for all,” the resolution concludes. Hale Landes, a member of IBEW Local 134 and labor outreach chair of the Illinois Single Payer Coalition, and Bill Bianchi of Illinois Progressive Democrats of America organized to bring the single payer resolution to Local 2 leaders.
Local 2 is affiliated with International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (IATSE), a union that has played a major role in galvanizing support for single payer in locals around the country. IATSE Local 2 is the 620th labor organization to endorse HR 676. The local also passed a resolution supporting the Illinois legislation, HB 108, introduced by State Representative Mary Flowers.