The 53rd Annual Montana AFL-CIO State Convention reaffirmed its previous endorsement of HR 676, single payer health care legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI). The Montana
AFL-CIO endorsed HR 676 for the first time at its 2008 Convention.

This year’s Convention resolution resolved “that the Montana State AFL-CIO reaffirms its endorsement of and commitment to a single payer universal system of health care such as HR 676” and further resolved “that until such a time as there is a single payer universal system of health care in our nation, the Montana State AFL-CIO adamantly opposes federal and/or state taxation of union bargained, employer provided health care benefits.”

The Convention directed that Jim McGarvey, Executive Secretary of the Montana AFL-CIO, deliver copies of the resolution to the media and to the state’s congressional delegation including Montana Senator Max Baucus who spoke to the convention on May 2nd.

Baucus is a leading proponent in Congress of taxing health care benefits. Baucus is Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee where 13 people were recently arrested for protesting the exclusion of supporters of single payer from two Committee Round Tables on May 5th and 12th.

Senator Baucus raised the idea of taxing health benefits at the May 12th Senate Finance Committee Round Table. In response, Gerald Shea, Assistant for Government Affairs to AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, deemed Baucus’ proposal to tax health benefits a “radical change” and said, “If we’re
going to do a radical change, I think that single payer is really the way to go.”

While Senator Baucus continues to say, without offering any evidence whatsoever, that single payer is “(not) going to work in this country,” two more U.S. Senators announced that a single payer system is best for America.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown told an April 17th Cleveland Heights rally that “I would love to see a single payer system,” and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, a member of the Finance Committee, is quoted in The Albany Times-Union as saying: “I believe that a single-payer system would be the
best way to ensure that all Americans have access to health care.”

Despite acknowledging that a single payer health care system would be the best way to solve the health care crisis, neither senator is supporting it.

See more labor endorsements for HR 676 at www.unionsforsinglepayerHR676.org.

2 Comments

  1. care4all on May 22, 2009 at 2:33 am

    A new advocacy group, Montanans for Single-Payer, has formed.

    From their website:

    Montanans for Single-Payer is reaching out to Montanans to provide information on why only a single-payer approach can bring real change to American health care. We are active in all 56 counties and can notify 14,000 Montanans of developments in health care reform. Montanans have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of health care in America because U.S. Senator Max Baucus is a key player in that effort. Montanans for Single-Payer believes he will listen to the voices of Montanans so Montanans must make clear that we want a single-payer health care system.

    Only a single-payer approach to healthcare reform will END THE INHUMANITY OF OUR FAILED HEALTHCARE INSURANCE SYSTEM, WHERE PROFITS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN PATIENTS’ HEALTH, and where people die because of it.

    Visit the Montanans for Single Payer website— http://montanansforsinglepayer.org/
    Check out the “What Can I Do?” section. It has a great list of contacts and resources: http://montanansforsinglepayer.org/?page_id=29

    2. JOIN: From their website: “Let us know who you are so we can send you our updates about activities. If you will agree to help us get the information out to your friends, we can create a network of supporters that will create the political will needed by our Congressional members. LOG IN and we will add you to our email list so we can keep you updated on activities or send us your email to”: infor@montanansforsinglepayer.org



  2. Eliza Jane Dodd on May 23, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    My idea stolen by the VETERANS >>>>No just kidding …sorta ….this was my Idea 3 or so years ago for Universal Health Care …I said WHY DONT WE HAVE A LOTTO FOR IT ????And everyone laughed …now I hope they all EAT CROW ….OK Kate read this > Star Telegram Ft Worth Texas ( HOUSE APPROVES SCRATHCH OFF-GAME TO BENEFIT VETERANS )
    Under LOTTERY on the Front Page May 16th 2009 article by; Dave Montgomery Star Telegram Ft.Worth news-paper …Please everyone read this article ?? I think having a Lottery for Universal Health Care is a WINNER !