It's time for Medicare for All

May 12, 2022

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The healthcare system in the United States is profoundly broken. While insurance and pharmaceutical companies post record profits, 28 million people in the country are still uninsured and millions more are forced to forego necessary care because of unaffordable costs. Today, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), introduced a bill, the Medicare for All Act of 2022, that reimagines healthcare as a fundamental human right.

The APWU has long called for single-payer healthcare and is proud to endorse the Medicare for All Act of 2022.

“Postal workers know the value of affordable, universal services, grounded in a commitment to putting people over profits. That’s the type of service we provide the people every day,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “As the experience of the pandemic has tragically underscored, the wellbeing of any of us is deeply tied to the wellbeing of all of us. It’s time for a healthcare system that prioritizes the health of the many over the profits of the few. It’s time for Medicare for All.”

While postal workers already enjoy quality health insurance, the APWU believes that a single-payer system like Medicare for All would benefit not only the uninsured, but postal workers as well. Quite simply, our health plans are far too expensive, for individual postal workers and for our employers. Today, despite the millions of uninsured people, the United States spends far more per capita for healthcare than other similar countries, while achieving worse health outcomes.

Medicare for All would cover everyone and reduce total costs, while eliminating copays and premium payments for everyone. And, by removing healthcare costs from the bargaining table, union members like postal workers would be able to negotiate better pay and other benefits into our union contracts.

“APWU members have long recognized the need of a Medicare for All system, having passed resolutions in support at our national convention,” said Legislative and Political Director Judy Beard.  “We are proud to build on those resolutions and endorse this significant piece of legislation introduced by Senator Sanders.”

The Senate Medicare for All Act, which builds upon a similar bill introduced in the House last year would:

  • Guarantee quality healthcare for all Americans through an expanded Medicare program.
  • Provide comprehensive health care coverage including all primary care, hospital and outpatient services, dental, vision, audiology, women’s reproductive health services, maternity and newborn care, long-term services and supports, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse treatment, laboratory and diagnostic services, ambulatory services, and more.
  • Ensure that, upon receiving care, patients would not be charged any co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs.
  • Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices to substantially lower the costs of prescriptions drugs.
  • Preserve the ability of veterans to receive their medical benefits and services through the Veterans Administration, and of Native Americans to receive their medical benefits and services through the Indian Health Service.

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