NJ Local Unions and Labor Organizations Sign-On Letter to Rep. Kim: Medicare for All Act of 2021
Dear Congressman Kim,
As labor unions and labor organizations that represent working families in your district, we respectfully urge you to cosponsor H.R. 1976, the Medicare for All Act of 2021, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Debbie Dingell.
Medicare has provided guaranteed health care for millions of Americans age 65 and older. It is well past time we expand Medicare to everyone so that everyone has equal access to a high standard of care, effectively control costs, and end health disparities.
Health care costs in New Jersey are extremely high at $6,200 annually per patient, ranking fifth in the U.S. From 2012-2016, health care spending rose 18% in New Jersey, compared to 15% nationally. And just in the first few months of the pandemic, over 124,000 New Jerseyans lost their health insurance due to job loss, demonstrating once again that health care should be a right for everyone and delinked from employment status.
While NJ-3 as a whole is one of the wealthier districts in New Jersey, there is still a significant uninsured population in localities like Freehold Borough (uninsured rate of 23.2%), Hightstown (uninsured rate of 20.2%) and East Windsor (uninsured rate of 10.9%). According to census data, at least 34,757 people are uninsured in your district. The highest uninsured rates are reported among people of color, small-business workers, people with low incomes, and young adults.
Many unions have been forced to give up wage increases and other benefits to maintain health care for members. Medicare for All would take health care off the bargaining table so that we can prioritize other important issues like higher wages, pensions, and childcare.
The Covid-19 crisis has been eye-opening for all Americans, and is changing the political landscape on Medicare for All. Americans currently support Medicare for All in unprecedented numbers: 81% of Democrats, 60% of Independents, and 58% of all Americans. Support for H.R. 1976 has surged to 121 cosponsors, over half of Democratic members of the House, including the chairs of six out of the seven committees of jurisdiction.
We ask you to co-sponsor H.R. 1976, the Medicare for All Act of 2021, joining Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Donald Payne, Donald Norcross and Frank Pallone from the NJ delegation. We would also appreciate a meeting with you prior to further discuss our vision for a single payer healthcare plan in the United States. We appreciate your leadership in defending our vital public healthcare systems, and thank you for your consideration.
CWA Local 1032
CWA Local 1081
New Labor – labor org
Teamsters Local 676
NJ State Industrial Union Council
IFPTE Local 194
AFT Local 2222, Mercer Adjunct Faculty Union, Mercer County Community College
National Domestic Workers Alliance