On October 27, 2012, at its convention in Manitowoc, AFT Wisconsin endorsed Congressman John Conyers’ bill, HR 676, a national single payer health care program that would implement Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.
“AFT-W will … mobilize our members and our community at the grassroots to encourage other members of the House to sign on as co-sponsors of HR 676 when introduced in the next Congress and to encourage Senators to introduce a companion bill in the Senate,” the resolution states. The passage of this resolution was reported by Buzz Davis, AFT Wisconsin Retiree Council Executive Board Member, who stated that “the membership understands that single payer health care is the way to go and that insurance companies should be removed from the equation.”
Davis, a retired state planner, said that taking the Medicare program and expanding it to everyone is the way to achieve quality health care for everyone at the best price.
He said that the union also stands strongly against any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. “Debt during a recession is not a problem. Public spending is what needs to be done in order to put people to work,” he said. He called the current panic over the deficit “a drummed up crisis.”
He added that the union is fighting hard to rebuild in the wake of Governor Walker’s attacks on all of Wisconsin’s unions.
AFT Wisconsin, founded in 1931, is a chapter of the American Federation of Teachers. The union represents 17,000 employees working in public schools, vocational colleges, universities, and for the state.