Illinois Central Labor Council Endorses HR 676 : Retirees for Single Payer Health Care Blog
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Illinois Central Labor Council Endorses HR 676

by In My Opinion on 05/05/15

Illinois Central Labor Council Endorses HR 676

April 28, 2015

At its regular meeting on April 15, 2015, the Champaign County AFL-CIO unanimously endorsed HR 676, national single payer health care legislation, sponsored by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

Champaign County AFL-CIO President Matt Kelly of UA Local 149, Plumbers and Pipefitters, spoke with the All Unions Committee on the reason for the endorsement of HR 676:  “Working people in general are struggling and anything that will help we are on board with.”

David Johnson, a retired carpenter, a host of the Central Illinois World Labor Hour radio program, and a delegate to the Champaign County AFL-CIO brought the issue of endorsing HR 676 to the attention of the council.

At the meeting on April 15, Johnson passed out a copy of a resolution for HR 676 and a copy of the report about the Chattanooga CLC being the 150th CLC in the country and the 5th in Tennessee to pass it.

“I think the majority of the delegates thought that if five CLC’s in Tennessee have already passed it that we should definitely be doing something in Illinois,” said Johnson.

There was some discussion of health care on the floor of the meeting prior to the passage.  A delegate from the teachers’ union spoke of a student who could not get a vital prescription filled because of an inadequate insurance plan. 

The Champaign County AFL-CIO is the third labor council in Illinois to endorse HR 676.  The other two are the Greater Madison County Federation of Labor in East Alton and the Springfield and Central Illinois Trades and Labor Council in Springfield.

HR 676 would institute a single payer health care system by expanding a greatly improved Medicare to everyone residing in the U. S.  Patients will choose their own physicians and hospitals.

HR 676 would cover every person for all necessary medical care including prescription drugs, hospital, surgical, outpatient services, primary and preventive care, emergency services, dental (including oral surgery, periodontics, endodontics), mental health, home health, physical therapy, rehabilitation (including for substance abuse), vision care and correction, hearing services including hearing aids, chiropractic, durable medical equipment, palliative care, podiatric care, and long term care.

HR 676 ends deductibles and co-payments.  HR 676 would save hundreds of billions annually by eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private health insurance industry and HMOs.

In the current Congress, HR 676 has 48 co-sponsors in addition to Congressman Conyers.

HR 676 has been endorsed by 619 union organizations including 151 Central Labor Councils/Area Labor Federations and 44 state AFL-CIO's (KY, PA, CT, OH, DE, ND, WA, SC, WY, VT, FL, WI, WV, SD, NC, MO, MN, ME, AR, MD-DC, TX, IA, AZ, TN, OR, GA, OK, KS, CO, IN, AL, CA, AK, MI, MT, NE, NJ, NY, NV, MA, RI, NH, ID & NM).

For further information, a list of union endorsers, or a sample endorsement resolution, contact:

Kay Tillow

All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care--HR 676

c/o Nurses Professional Organization (NPO)

1169 Eastern Parkway, Suite 2218

Louisville, KY 40217

(502) 636 1551


Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee for Single Payer Health Care – HR676, Louisville, KY

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Medicare For All 
(HR 676)

Everybody In, Nobody Out Health Care - Gives every resident of the United States and the U.S. Territories access to all medically necessary health care services, including vision and dental as well long term care with no copays or deductibles regardless of employment, income or health status.  Private insurance companies may not duplicate coverage under this bill.

Non-Profit Health Care - Converts all healthcare providers to a not-for-profit service where illness is no longer a source of wealth for a few.

Single Payer Health Care – Medicare today is a social insurance program for those 65 or older and the disabled under 65.  Medicare for All improves and extends that social insurance program to all of us. This gives us all the collective ability to control the out of control costs of the healthcare industry in this country.  Pays for that expanded coverage by maintaining the present level of federal government revenues for Health Care as well as increasing personal income taxes on the top 5 percent income earners, instituting a modest and progressive tax on payroll and self-employment income, on unearned income, and on stock and bond transactions.


“People need to believe that social change is possible.  If they think their only option is to exchange one oppressor for another, they will usually choose to accept their victimization and try to make the best of it.  That is why counter institutions are so important, because they are living demonstrations that better social relationships are possible and within our grasp.  They are possible because, besides the seeds of the oppressor within us, we also have the seeds of mutual liberation within us, the instincts of cooperation, of sharing, democracy, equality, extended family.”  John Curl, Poet
‘There was no formal interview like I imagined but the day turned out to be even better.  There was lots of gumbo ya-ya about politics then (60s) and now with a bunch of us sitting around a conference table eating what had to be KFC.  There were a few people there from a group called Retirees for Single Payer Healthcare, most of whom were north of 60.  They spent a good 15 minutes arguing what commerce would look like in a post capitalist society as if this new arrangement was coming next month and they were teenagers planning out the rest of their lives.  It was a freedom dream in motion with General Baker at the helm – a powerful lesson in hope.’  Robyn Spencer, from “Rest in Power, General Baker”