Nurses, healthcare activists, union members and politicians rallied in favor of a single-payer healthcare system even though the idea has gained little traction from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama this week in Denver. Under a proposal backed largely by the California Nurses Association, the nations healthcare system would segue from one based on private, employer-backed health insurance to a government-run system being touted as Medicare for all.
Such a system would remove the hands of the insurance industry from our necks, said CNA President Deborah Burger. Proponents of a single-payer system, which they say would be patterned on the Canadian medical system, argue that healthcare here devalues, discards and destroys patients all in the name of profit.
But Gregory Juneman, president of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, said there is a more practical reason the switch should be made. Juneman, a longtime union representative, said that the flawed healthcare system, where higher costs dont ensure better health outcomes, is crippling the financial relationship between employers and their workers. I dont think this issue can be solved at the bargaining table, he said. We dont bargain over healthcare, we bargain over insurance. (For a longer version of this story, please click here.) -- by Matthew DoBias