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Resolutions & Amendments

45th International Convention - Philadelphia (2022)

Continuing the Fight for Universal Health Care

Resolution No. 25


Rationing health care in the United States according to ability to pay has diminished the overall health of our citizens, to the point that the U.S. ranks 35th in the world in health outcomes, and even worse for infant mortality and life expectancy, yet ranks first in health care costs; and


The pandemic has clearly shown that no one's health nor their health insurance is secure with the number of Americans without health insurance being nearly 30 million, and 50 million Americans underinsured, with the impacts most severe among people of color; and


AFSCME has fought for and won health insurance coverage for our members throughout the U.S. However, the rising cost of health care has been used by employers to shift these costs onto the backs of workers, leveraging these increased costs against our wages and other benefits; has weakened our job security; and has placed severe pressure on the budgets of public employers. These increased costs benefit the health insurance corporations' bottom line while leaving our members and retirees with more expensive or unaffordable health care. A national health care program would take health insurance benefits out of the hands of employers and ensure that all workers would have affordable and accessible coverage; and


The Medicare for All Act builds upon and expands Medicare to provide comprehensive benefits to every person in the United States from cradle to grave. These benefits go far beyond those currently provided by our contracts. This includes primary care, vision, dental, prescription drugs, mental health, substance abuse, long-term services and supports, reproductive health care and more. The act also includes universal coverage of long-term care with no cost-sharing for older Americans and individuals with disabilities and prioritizes home and community-based care over institutional care. We will no longer pay premiums, deductibles and copays. Additionally, patients have the freedom to choose the doctors, hospitals and other providers they wish to see without worrying about whether a provider is in-network. Importantly, the legislation streamlines the health care system to negotiate drug prices and reduce exorbitant administrative waste; and


AFSCME has been on record in support of establishing a universal single-payer health care system in the United States by action at convention (“Adopt Single Payer, Resolution No. 17, July 16, 2018”). AFSCME has led the fight to provide health care to all our members through historic struggles. AFSCME is no stranger to building movements for social justice, equality and equity for the common good.


AFSCME will work in coalition with other unions and allies to advocate that any costs associated with funding a universal single-payer health care system be paid for through progressive taxation and that any adverse impact of the move to a single-payer health care system on the jobs of AFSCME-represented employees be addressed through appropriate transitional assistance; and


AFSCME, in collaboration with other unions and organizations, will continue to fight for universal health coverage through the passage of the Medicare For All Act and other legislation that expands coverage and improves affordability and quality, such as by creating a public option, lowering the Medicare eligibility age, lowering prescription drug prices for all payers, expanding Medicaid eligibility and enhancing premium tax credits and cost-sharing subsidies for individuals under the Affordable Care Act.

Cindy Spurlock, President and Delegate
AFSCME Local 2568, Council 25
Lawrence A. Roehrig, President
Robyn C. Price, Secretary-Treasurer
AFSCME Council 25