30,000 member union with good health benefits stands up for Medicare for All

“Cover Everyone, period: Stop fearmongering about Medicare for All.” That’s what the co-presidents of UNITE HERE Local 11 say in their column in USA Today.

Not all unions are against Medicare for All. Here’s why ours thinks it’s a good idea.

Taking health care off the bargaining table would ease conflict with employers and let unions focus on needs like housing, retirement and organizing.

by Susan Minato, Kurt Petersen and Ada Briceño

Originally published on USA Today

As Democrats debate the future of health policy, politicians and pundits have suggested that unions would oppose nationwide universal health care because they might want to keep the employer-based health care plans that they have won in collective bargaining.

UNITE HERE Local 11 represents more than 30,000 room attendants, servers, cooks and others who keep hotels, cafeterias, stadiums, and airports running across Southern California and Arizona. Like other unions, we work diligently on behalf of these members to secure a variety of benefits, ranging from a living wage to protections against sexual harassment. But the most pressing issue in our workers’ lives is the necessity of health care. While protective and proud of the excellent medical benefits we have won in our contracts, we strongly believe Medicare for All is a promising proposal that should be pursued for our members, and for our country.

Our members in Southern California enjoy high-quality, affordable health care coverage. Room attendants have full family coverage with no deductible, and co-pays are capped at $25 per month. We even have a dental center that only serves union members. Perhaps our plan’s most important feature is the eligibility requirement: members need to work a minimum of 80 hours per month to become eligible. Eighty hours a month is 20 hours a week, meaning a part-time server working three shifts a week has affordable health insurance for her family.

Read the full article here.