2 Million-Plus Signatures; Massachusetts, Texas Unions Join the Fight; Medicare for All Activists’ Convention

Welcome to this week’s edition of “We’ve Got You Covered,” a weekly tipsheet designed to highlight key news about Medicare for All and call out the biggest industry lies and falsehoods about universal health care. Please send tips, feedback and questions to Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.

2.2 MILLION PLUS PETITIONS TO HIT CAPITOL HILL

On Tuesday, a diverse group of organizations will deliver more than two million petition signatures for Medicare for All to Capitol Hill. The petitions, in support of Medicare for All, have been collected by Public Citizen, Credo Action, Justice Democrats, Social Security Works, MoveOn, Daily Kos and more than a dozen other organizations.

U.S. Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.), who introduced Medicare for All legislation in the House of Representatives, also will speak before the petitions are delivered to several congressional offices, urging more members to co-sponsor the bill.

“Massive petition deliveries like this are reflective of what we’re seeing at the grassroots level through local resolution efforts,” said Melinda St. Louis, director or Public Citizen’s Medicare for All campaign. “As this campaign continues to gain steam, we expect to see more and more boxes of signatures from Americans demanding guaranteed health care for all.”

UNION MEMBERS JOIN THE FIGHT

Over the summer, more union members joined the fight for Medicare for All.

Last month, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO unanimously passed a resolution supporting the policy. The Texas chapter of AFL-CIO passed a resolution this summer, as well.

“This came from our rank and file who all have health care but wanted to make sure there was health care for everyone. It’s gotten to the point where we have this tiered system with people with nothing,” said Beth Kontos, the president of the American Federation of Teachers in Massachusetts, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO. “We need to look at a way to take the profit out of it.”

SINGLE-PAYER ACTIVISTS UNITE!

This weekend, more than 400 community and labor activists will gather in Portland, Ore. to continue to build the Medicare for All movement.

Healthcare-NOW and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare are hosting an activists’ strategy conference to help energize and engage activists, including information about promoting local resolutions and mobilizing in congressional districts across the country. Speakers include Rose Roach, executive director of the Minnesota Nurses Association on behalf of National Nurses United; Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants; and Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

REMINDER: Almost 95% of Ohioans would save money on health care costs under Medicare For All, according to a University of Massachusetts at Amherst study. Considering program savings through reduced administrative waste, Medicare for All would reduce Ohio’s overall health care spending by 11%, or almost $9 billion in the first year alone.

Additionally, a national single-payer system could increase employment in Ohio by up to six percent, adding more than 250,000 jobs to the state economy, the study found.

To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about Public Citizen’s work, please contact Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org or (202) 588-7779.