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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 06:27 PM

Labor Campaign Pushes Healthcare as a Human Right, Not a Business

As most American progressives know, nearly every industrialized country in the world has a government-funded health care program—except the US. Not as many of us know, however, that in nearly all of those countries, organized labor was a central player in fighting for and defending those systems.

The unionists gathered over the weekend at the Labor Campaign for Single-Payer conference in Chicago argue that if universal health care is ever to be achieved in the US, labor must play a key role in pushing for it—which many have plans to do, particularly on the state level, in the near future
Many activists are looking to Vermont as an example to follow. The Green Mountain State saw a successful campaign for single-payer that began in 2008. The fight was led by labor—not by a traditional union, but by the Vermont Workers Center, a community-based worker rights organization, who assembled a broad coalition including many unions that successfully pushed single-payer legislation around a “health care is a human right” framework.


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