Lede: True or false – a majority of America’s doctors support government creation of a universal health care system. Doug Cunningham has the answer.
By Doug Cunningham
It’s true. Dr. Aaron Carroll of the Indiana School for Medicine’s Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research says their research shows a solid majority of medical doctors are behind a government created national health insurance system.
[Carroll]: “And we found that actually more physicians support national health insurance than they do the incremental reforms. And so more physicians actually endorsed the government taking more radical steps toward, say a Medicare for all, or some form of national health insurance than to just keep on doing what we’re doing and try to achieve universal coverage through band-aids and incremental reforms.”
How is the recent economic news coming out of Wall Street being handled on the campaign trail?
Republican Presidential candidate Senator John McCain acknowledged that we are in difficult times, but expressed his faith in the American economy:
[McCain]: Tremendous turmoil in our financial markets and Wall Street…the fundamentals of our economy are strong
Meanwhile, Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama called what is happening on Wall Street “the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.” He fired a salvo directly at his opponent and current President George W. Bush and placed blame directly on McCain for following the policies of the current administration.
In an election year when issues like pay equity, family and medical leave, health care and retirement are at stake, it’s important to make sure everyone recognizes the issues at stake and gets the information they need about the candidates. That’s especially true for the working women who have been among the hardest hit in the economic slowdown.
Over the next month, union women and Working America members will meet in small groups around the country, in homes, union halls and coffee shops. At these meetings, they’ll be talking about the most important issues and writing postcards to women in key states.
This past weekend, we saw Hurricane Ike spread destruction along the Gulf Coast and we witnessed the devastation along Wall Street in the wake of financial greed helped along by the bank deregulation legislation of Sen. John McCain’s economic adviser Phil Gramm (the same Gramm who said the nation is a bunch of whiners for complaining about the U.S. economic crisis).
As Harold Pollack, associate professor at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration, writes on Huffington Post today, the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the fire-sale takeover of Merrill Lynch by Bank of America—along with last week’s government bailout of private mortgage companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—provide a good time to reflect on the fiscal soundness of the nation’s Social Security system.
Barb Kucera, editor of Workday Minnesota, sends us this report from the Minnesota AFL-CIO convention in Duluth.
Union members from across the state who gathered for the biennial convention of the Minnesota AFL-CIO are focused on one goal: electing worker-friendly candidates in the November elections.
More than 500 delegates representing 300,000 working Minnesotans are attending the three-day convention at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center. On Sunday, they heard from several elected officials and labor-endorsed candidate Al Franken. Franken, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party-endorsed candidate for U.S. Senate, told the delegates:
If you’re ready for a change, I need you to stand with me.
Martin Marks, Pennsylvania political communications specialist, sends us this report from Erie, Pa.
Stormy weather didn’t stop a group of more than 50 union sportsmen from shooting in the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO Working Families Trap Shoot Finals at the Bay City Gun Club in Waterford, outside of Erie on Saturday afternoon. And it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm these union gun owners and hunters have for Sen. Barack Obama.
Jack Fischer, president of the Erie-Crawford Central Labor Council, puts it this way:
There is a lot of nonsense out there about Barack Obama taking our guns. Working folks from our area are a lot more worried about John McCain shipping away our jobs.
Gun ownership has been a wedge issue used in recent elections by Republican candidates and their extremist allies to distract blue-collar voters from the bread-and-butter economic issues that matter to working families. But at a roundtable discussion on the election prior to Saturday’s trap shoot, participants said hunters wouldn’t be dissuaded from focusing on economic issues by right-wing distortions of Obama’s record on guns.
Only 50 crucial days remain before the presidential election, and the union movement is working around the clock to get out the message that on issues such as health care, retirement security and jobs, Sen. Barack Obama‘s plans would support working families. In sharp contrast, Sen. John McCain would provide more of the same failed economic policies as George W. Bush that benefit the wealthy at the expense of working families.
Field reports from Pennsylvania, Colorado and Indiana highlight the AFL-CIO union movement’s intense political mobilization efforts. This weekend in Erie, Pa., AFL-CIO President John J. Sweeney took part in the Labor 2008 political program along with Electrical Workers (IBEW) members, reports Frank Snyder, Labor 2008 state director for Pennsylvania.
This in from Union Plus. Pass on the info to those you know who need assistance.
Union members living in areas impacted by the recent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast area and who participate in Union Plus programs may have one less financial worry.
The Union Plus Credit Card Disaster Relief Fund is available to help cardholders who are facing financial hardship due to the storms. Union cardholders are eligible to apply for Disaster Relief Fund grants of $500. The money does not have to be repaid.
Some 21,000 engineers at Boeing demanded the return of work farmed out to contractors, and more news from the “Bargaining Digest Weekly.” The AFL-CIO Collective Bargaining Department delivers daily, bargaining-related news and research resources to more than 900 subscribers. Union leaders can register for this service through our website, Bargaining@Work.
WORK STOPPAGES AND ACTIONS
IAM, Boeing: The 28,000 Machinists (IAM) members at Boeing remain on strike and no new talks are scheduled. Union negotiators are talking daily with the mediator and are focused on the main issues of health care, job security, retirement and wages. According to UAW’s website: “When this Company is ready to make the deal right and get you back to work, we are ready to talk. This company took on a strategy that failed miserably and was illegal, which is why we have filed an unfair labor practice charge….Although unfortunate, it had to come to this, [the company] chose this path and now must deal with the consequences.”