Eastern Virginia Labor Federation in Norfolk Endorses HR 676, national single payer legislation

Original article on DailKos.com

By Kay Tillow

President Thomas Calhoun reports that the Eastern Virginia Labor Federation (EVLF) has endorsed HR 676, Expanded and Improved Medicare for All, the single payer legislation that has 120 cosponsors in the US House of Representatives.

“We’re in a lot of trouble in regards to health care,” said Calhoun, who is also the President of the Norfolk Federation of Teachers, Local 4261, of the American Federation of Teachers.  “With no mandate any more a lot of people will be out of the Affordable Care Act–as more don’t buy insurance the rates for the others go up,” he said. He noted that for unions the rising costs of insurance have a very negative impact on pay rates.  “Single Payer is the answer—I don’t see how anybody can be against it,” he said.

Calhoun pointed to the story of Trump telling Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that his country has better health care than we do. “Of course, in that instance he was right because Australia has a single payer system,” said Calhoun.

“We in the US pay the highest prices for drugs and for health care as hundreds of lobbyists work on behalf of the insurance companies.  It’s the worst racket on earth and always will be until we get single payer health care.”

President Calhoun said, “Health care is now dependent on ability to pay and those who cannot pay go without.  The people with big money are not suffering, but the rest are.  It’s tragic.  Life expectancy in the United States is now going down.”

He urged a massive effort to change those who hold political office but will not stand up for the people.  And he urged the election of more labor people.

The Eastern Virginia Labor Federation is the 157th Central Labor Council or Area Labor Federation to endorse HR 676.  The EVLF is one of four area labor federations in Virginia and represents workers in the populous Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Newport News, Chesapeake Bay region.