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Vol. 81/No. 14      April 10, 2017

(lead article, Socialist Workers Party statement)

Socialist Workers Party: ‘Universal health care!’

Join fight for government funded health care for all!

Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church
Hundreds attend free health clinic, above, in Portland, Oregon, August 2016. Both Obamacare and Trump plan enrich insurance companies while health care for working people deteriorates.
The following statement by Osborne Hart, Socialist Workers Party candidate for New York mayor was released March 29.

Millions throughout the United States — unemployed or working, U.S.-born and immigrants — are feeling the carnage of the slow-burning capitalist economic crisis.

Millions who want to work can’t get jobs. Wages are stagnating or being pushed down. Workers in uniform are being sent to fight in nonstop wars to defend the interests of the propertied rulers. Infrastructure is crumbling. The cost of health insurance is going up.

For workers and farmers, access to health care is literally a life and death question. We need to join together to fight for government-funded, cradle-to-grave medical care as a social right for all. Our unions should be at the forefront of this fight .

The mixed bag of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, is health insurance not health care — designed first and foremost to boost the profits of the insurance and drug monopolies. While millions were able to get some inadequate and rationed coverage, which is better than nothing, it has meant skyrocketing premiums, deductibles and co-pays for shrinking care.

Trumpcare would have made this profit-driven system even worse, adding another 24 million without health care by 2026. Like Obamacare, its sponsors’ chief concern is the profits of the health “industry.”

The Trump administration plan, which is off the table for the moment, includes a fundamental assault on Medicaid, a historic gain of the mass Black rights fight that overturned Jim Crow segregation and won broader social rights. The rulers’ efforts to deliver blows to Medicaid would affect tens of millions of workers, children, the elderly, those with disabilities, and their family and friends. It would open the door to attacks on other entitlements won by past working-class struggles — from Medicare to Social Security.

Working people place no price on life and limb. Health shouldn’t be based on profitability. That’s why many working people are attracted to the demand for a “single-payer” system, sometimes called “Medicare for all.”

The working class, led by the union movement, should fight for universal, lifetime health care for all, whatever name it’s given. Through our labor, the working class produces all the wealth, more than enough to provide health care and other social needs for all.

Revolutionary Cuba — where health care is a right, not a privilege — shows what working people can accomplish when we wrest power from the capitalist rulers and begin to build a society based on human solidarity. Fighting for universal health care today will help open that road to the socialist future here.  
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