NEW YORK NURSE: January/February 2009
More than 150 representatives from 31 states gathered in St. Louis in January to step up a grassroots campaign for comprehensive healthcare reform.
NYSNA President-elect Karen Ballard represented the association at the national kickoff meeting of the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer Healthcare. Over the course of two days, delegates discussed strategies to promote the “Medicare for All” approach to healthcare reform.
The campaign’s mission statement details why a publicly funded healthcare insurance program is essential for the nation’s workers:
“Our nation’s healthcare crisis is ruining the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans… Shifting the cost of healthcare to workers under the current profit-driven system is a painful feature of virtually every set of contract negotiations these days. For the vast majority of workers without a union, the situation is even more desperate. A publicly financed, single-payer national healthcare system like those in virtually all other industrialized countries is the only solution that will control costs, increase access, and improve the quality of care.”
The labor campaign will work for the enactment of HR676, legislation before Congress that would create a national healthcare system based on the Medicare model. The bill has been endorsed by 39 state AFL-CIO federations, 100 Central Labor Councils, and more than 400 local unions, including the New York State Nurses Association. For more information, visit: www.laborforsinglepayer.org.