2020-09-02 Medicare for All Means Job Freedom!

What can you do right now to help bring us closer to Improved Medicare for All? (continue below for this week’s news)

  1. Help us reach our goal of 1,000 NC signers on this petition to our NC Congressional Delegation before we send it off. Ask everyone you know -  your community organization, faith group, family and friends -  to sign this NC petition demanding healthcare for all now as an ethical response to the pandemic! 
  2. We must encourage more elected officials to be advocates for Improved Medicare for All in Congress!!! Make a plan to vote.  You can do it in person or by mail.  Check out how to register in NC and access more voting info here. Then, use this toolkit to lobby your representatives and candidates through various contact methods.

 

It’s true, jobs may change 

With the introduction of a universal single-payer health care program, some jobs will be replaced - but not without help for affected workers! The current legislation (HR 1384) has substantial funding to assist current employees with transitions: everything from financial support for training and education, to income replacement.  No worries! 

Think about this: why didn’t we stop the production of motor vehicles out of concern for the workers making horse drawn carriages?  

Two thirds of insurance company revenues come from public dollars.  Why should we pay for the excess cost to administer private insurance when those dollars could be used to improve our care and health outcomes?  

Jobs have already changed

Every year fewer and fewer workers have the benefits that used to come with being an employee. We have more temps, contract workers, freelancers and self-employed hairdressers, barbers and service workers. Also, we have witnessed a 50 percent drop in the number of unionized workers since 1980 (from 20% to 10% of total workforce).  No surprise that the percent of workers covered by employer sponsored health insurance (ESI) also has fallen steadily in recent years.    

What else is there to know?

EPI (Economic Policy Institute) released a report at the beginning of March assessing the impact of a shift from our current system to a system of publicly funded insurance.  They found that despite claims of large-scale job losses, a national program that would guarantee health insurance for every American would not profoundly affect the total number of jobs in the U.S. economy. In fact, such reform could boost wages and jobs and lead to more efficient labor markets that better match jobs and workers.

Other findings - supplemented and adapted from the EPI Report

Expanded and Improved Medicare for All will: 

  • Protect workers from worrying about capricious and harmful decisions insurance companies insert into healthcare. Even the ACA Marketplace hasn’t fixed the confusing language, limited options and other barriers that still live in our current system.  As long as private insurance companies have a role, even those that are “non-profit”, they will insert their profit motives into decisions about care that should be up to the patient and provider.  
  • Boost worker’s wages and salaries: employers will be able to redirect the dollars they now use for employee health coverage to the employee's paycheck. 
  • Improve the health of families: When women have real access to care, their whole family benefits.  
  • Lessen the stress and economic shock of losing a job or moving between jobs: if insurance is provided in a program separate and not tied to employment, coverage stays even when the job disappears:  In other words, workers who lost their jobs in this pandemic would not have lost the insurance they need more now than ever to stay healthy and return to the workforce. 
  • Increase job performance:  workers will not have to stay with a job not suited to their skills just because they need to keep their insurance. When jobs and workers are well matched, turnover and associated costs decrease. 
  • Support self-employment and small business development: if insurance is a public program offered to everyone outside of their job, start-ups don’t have to worry about the cost of insurance, which can reduce initial profits and much-needed reinvestment dollars.

 

Weekly update proudly signed by the following NC organizations:

 

 


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