Paula Friedman, Chair of the Retiree Committee of the Bergen County Central Trades and Labor Council in New Jersey, reports that their latest victory is the successful passage of a resolution by the Township of Teaneck calling for the “immediate enactment” of HR 676, national single payer health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).
The resolution notes that HR 676 “would assure universal coverage of all medically necessary services, contain costs by slashing bureaucracy, protect the doctor-patient relationship, (and) assure patients a completely free choice of doctors….” Teaneck Council Member Elie Katz made the motion that was seconded by Council Member Monica Honis. The vote was unanimous.
The HR 676 Resolution states that “the rising cost of insuring public employees can be reduced and best met not by limiting benefits but by providing benefits under a national, publicly-funded health insurance program…” This is particularly important to New Jersey where the attacks on public employee benefits have been massive.
In addition, the resolution states that “the complex bureaucracy arising from our fragmented, for-profit, multi-payer system of healthcare financing consumes approximately thirty percent (30%) of the United States health care spending while the single-payer Medicare system has administrative cost of less that 5%…” and that “managed care and other market-based reforms have failed to contain healthcare costs, which now threaten the international competitiveness of U. S. manufacturers…”
Friedman said that the Retiree Committee has been working to educate municipal governments in Bergen County and seeking their endorsement for HR 676, also known as Expanded and Improved Medicare for All. The committee is made up of representatives from the UAW, Teamsters, Sheetmetal Workers, AFT, Letter Carriers, CWA, and Lithographers, among others..
Friedman encourages unions, labor councils, and retiree councils across the country to endorse HR 676 and then pick up this campaign to win cities and states to also endorse.
The list of union endorsers of HR 676 is here: http://unionsforsinglepayer.org/union_endorsers
Sample union resolution for HR 676: http://unionsforsinglepayer.org/files/union_endorsers/sample_resolution.doc
City Councils and State Legislatures endorsing HR 676: http://unionsforsinglepayer.org/more
The Teaneck Resolution is here: http://unionsforsinglepayer.org/files/other_endorsers/Teaneck_NJ_Resolution.pdf