Megacorporations Play Games With Workers’ Insurance. Medicare for All Would Fix That.

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.

GM SAYS STRIKERS SHOULDN’T GET HEALTH CARE

When workers strike for livable wages, they shouldn’t have to risk their multibillion-dollar corporate employer taking away their access to health care while they are on the picket line.

Last week, as the United Auto Workers strike against General Motors continued, the company stopped providing health coverage for striking workers.

“Corporations should not be able to hold the insurance of workers and their families hostage as a bargaining tool,” said Eagan Kemp, health policy advocate at Public Citizen. “Under Medicare for All, union members would have the peace of mind that their health coverage and access to care are not at the mercy of their greedy bosses.”

If GM can hold workers’ health insurance coverage hostage, then any employer could do it to the more than 150 million Americans who are reliant on employer-based insurance.

WHOLE FOODS CUTS COVERAGE FOR PART-TIME EMPLOYEES

In the same spirit, Amazon – a company with a yearly net income of more than $10 billion and owned by the wealthiest man in the world – terminated health care benefits for Whole Foods employees who work under 30 hours per week, taking these benefits away from almost 2,000 people.

Amazon owner Jeff Bezos could pay for annual benefits for part-time employees who work less than 30 hours a week with what he makes in four and a half hours.

Under Medicare for All, no employees, part-time or full-time, would ever need to worry about their employer taking away their health insurance.

While owners and bosses of multibillion-dollar corporations continue to view health care as a privilege, small businesses and mom and pop shops think differently. According to a new survey by the Commonwealth Fund, about 58% of small business owners back Medicare for All.

REMINDER: A study by the University of Michigan found that nearly 30% of Americans with employer-sponsored insurance experienced a disruption in their health care coverage in a given year under our for-profit system as they changed or lost jobs, their employer changed insurers or plans, or as the quality of their insurance declined while the cost increased.

Further, labor force data show than the average American worker will have had about12 jobs by the time they turn 50, nearly all of which would require a change in insurance.

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.