By Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care–HR 676 –
Four central labor councils have passed an identical resolution calling upon the September AFL-CIO convention to organize an offensive campaign for expanding Social Security financing and passing improved “Medicare For All” legislation.
The resolution, which was initiated by the Troy Area Labor Council, has also been passed by the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council, the Greater Green Bay Central Labor Council and the Capital District Area Labor Federation in Albany, NY.
The resolution calls upon the AFL-CIO to organize a Solidarity Day march on Washington and on the West Coast “to demand an expansion of Medicare to cover everyone and to defend Social Security by removing the cap on income and tax all income in a similar fashion.”
The resolution calls for taxing all income for the purpose of Social Security including dividends, interest, capital gains, and rental income as well as removing the cap on wages and salaries now set at $113,700. Currently, those who earn up to $113,700 pay 6.2% in Social Security taxes on every dollar. Those who earn over that amount do not pay taxes on their earnings above that level even if they make millions. Currently the income of the wealthy in dividends, interest, capital gains, etc. is not taxed at all for Social Security.
On Medicare the resolution calls for “implementing a single Payer Medicare for All system as outlined in HR 676,” Congressman John Conyers’ single payer legislation which has 42 House co-sponsors. The legislation would cover everyone for all medically necessary care without co-pays, deductibles or premiums. The removal of the private health insurance industry would bring costs under control while expanding care.
In Minnesota, the Machinists’ State Retirees’ Council (IAM) is sending the resolution to all central labor councils in that state. In Pittsburgh, the president of a steelworkers local (USW) is submitting it to the Allegheny County Labor Council.
The AFL-CIO convention opens September 8th in Los Angeles, CA. Central Labor Councils, Area Labor Federations, and State AFL-CIO Federations as well as international unions may submit resolutions. Resolutions can be sent to Elizabeth Shuler, Sec.-Treas. AFL-CIO, 815 16th St. NW, Washington, DC 20006.
The resolutions can be found here.
Text of resolution:
Resolution for Action in Defense of Social Security and Medicare
Whereas: Both Social Security and Medicare are hard fought fundamental gains for all working people.
And Whereas: Cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits would mean destitution for millions of workers and their families.
And Whereas: The social insurance Social Security and Medicare provide is now under sustained attack by Wall Street interests which seek to direct these funds into private hands for private profit.
And Whereas: Removing the cap on income taxed for Social Security would both solve any financial issues the fund might have and end the unfair advantage of those making over the current capped level.
And Whereas: Implementing a Single Payer Medicare for All system as outlined in HR 676 would both cover everyone and save billions of dollars over the current private health insurance industry.
Therefore: The Troy Area Labor Council AFL-CIO urges that the AFL-CIO, within this calendar year, organize a Solidarity Day of Action in Washington and on the West Coast which calls all affiliates and labor allies to mobilize their members to demand an expansion of Medicare to cover everyone and to defend Social Security by removing the cap on income and tax all income in a similar fashion.