A letter to Congressman Conyers from United Healthcare Workers West

The following letter from SEIU–United Healthcare Workers West was sent to Congressman John Conyers, the sponsor of HR 676, national single payer healthcare legislation.

Dear Representative Conyers,

In our letter of June 28, 2007 endorsing HR 676, we wrote that “HR 676 will ensure that all Americans have health coverage through a publicly financed, privately delivered health care system that provides high quality, cost-effective health care.” In making that statement, we did not mean to suggest that HR 676 would or should result in the elimination of publicly-operated health care services and the crucial role they play in meeting our nation’s health care needs. Rather, we meant to counter the fear mongering of single payer opponents by clarifying that HR 676 would create a public funding mechanism for the existing array of health care providers, both privately and publicly operated, and not a “government takeover” of health care delivery in every setting. In that way, HR 676 would maintain access to the providers with which we are all familiar. We believe that any single payer system must recognize and enhance the essential role in the healthcare system played by public health care providers, and we regret if our letter implied otherwise.


Richard Thomason

Policy Director SEIU – United Healthcare Workers West 560 Thomas L. Berkley Way Oakland, CA 94612 510-869-2235