David McElfresh, President, reports that his central labor council, the Licking-Knox CLC in Newark, Ohio, has endorsed HR 676, the national single payer legislation also known as Expanded and Improved Medicare for All.
The council represents Licking, Knox, Muskingum, and Coshocton Counties in a largely rural area of central Ohio. The largest industry in the area is Owens-Corning where the workers are represented by the United Steelworkers.
McElfresh, who is also president of Local 109, International Association of Fire Fighters, stated that our “for-profit system of health care is not working.”
“Our number one problem at the bargaining table is that any wage increases are eaten up by the increasing cost of health insurance—coverage is getting worse yet the costs still go up,” he said.
The resolution states that “Unions have battled to achieve the highest standards of health care for members and their families, and those gains have lifted up health benefits for all workers, even those who have no union. All of these achievements are now under constant attack as costs rise and employers seek to shift those costs to workers.”
The Licking-Knox CLC “wholehearted endorses” HR 676 and resolves to “work with other unions and community groups to build a groundswell of popular support and action for single payer universal health care and HR 676 until we make what is morally right for our nation into what is also politically possible.”
Licking Knox is the 158th CLC to endorse HR 676.
In other news, Representative Donald Norcross of New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District became the 122 cosponsor of HR 676 in the US House of Representatives.