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Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

Health Care for America Now!

Resolution No. 81
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

 We believe that all of us benefit from healthy communities, where we have access to affordable, quality health care from a provider of our choice, at the time we need it, at a cost we can afford. Our goal is affordable, quality health care that we can all count on; and

Our current health care system is not affordable for families, businesses or government. We need a solution to secure our families’ health and a healthy economy. All of us, individuals, employers and government, have a shared responsibility to realize comprehensive reforms in our health care system; and

Our current health care system is dominated by for-profit drug, insurance and provider interests that have engaged in profiteering at the expense of our physical and financial well-being; and

AFSCME members should no longer be required to sacrifice fair wage increases in order to maintain quality health benefits; and

The current political environment presents the best opportunity for comprehensive health care reform in fifteen years; and

The forces opposed to comprehensive reform will spend millions of dollars to protect their profits and privileged position in the delivery of health care to the detriment of the rest of us; and 

Our government’s responsibility is to guarantee quality, affordable health care for everyone  and it must play a central role in regulating, financing, and providing health coverage.

 AFSCME supports comprehensive federal health care reform establishing:

  1. A truly inclusive and accessible health care system in which no one is left out.
  2. A choice of a private insurance plan, including keeping the insurance you have if you like it, or a public insurance plan, without a private insurer middleman, that guarantees affordable coverage.
  3. A standard for health benefits that covers what people need to keep healthy and to be treated when they are ill.  Health care benefits should cover all necessary care including preventative services and treatment needed by those with serious and chronic diseases and conditions.
  4. Health care coverage with out-of-pocket costs including premiums, co-pays and deductibles that are based on a family’s ability to pay and without limits on payments for covered services.
  5. Equity in health care access, treatment, research and resources to people and communities of color, resulting in the elimination of racial disparities in health outcomes and real improvement in health and life expectancy for all.
  6. Health coverage through the largest possible pools in order to achieve affordable, quality coverage for the entire population and to share risk fairly.
  7. Oversight of all plans to assure that risk is fairly spread among all health care payers and that insurers do not turn people away, raise rates or drop coverage based on a person’s health history, or wrongly delay or deny care.
  8. A choice of doctors, health providers and public and private plans, without gaps in coverage or access, and a delivery system that meets the needs of at-risk populations.
  9. Affordable and predictable health costs to the government, businesses and employers.
  10. Effective cost controls that promote quality, lower administrative costs and create long-term financial sustainability including: standard claims forms, secure electronic medical records, using the public’s purchasing power to instill greater reliance on evidence-based protocols and lower drug and device prices, better management and treatment of chronic diseases and a public role in deciding where money is invested in health care; and

AFSCME opposes the Bush/McCain “you’re on your own” reforms that depend on the so-called “free-market” and rely on high deductibles and co-payments at the point of service, deregulation of insurance companies, and the replacement of group employer-based coverage with individual market coverage; and

AFSCME will continue to lead the progressive fight for health care reform by remaining at the forefront of the AFL-CIO’s campaign for health care reform and by  leading the “Health Care for America NOW!” coalition of labor and non-labor organizations sharing AFSCME’s principles for health care reform; and

That all AFSCME affiliates will make it a priority to campaign for health care reform throughout the 2008 election period and through the 2009 – 2010 federal legislative sessions.