WASHINGTON — As Senate Republicans failed to pass their disastrous healthcare bill, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members and healthcare workers who provide care and essential services for people across the country renewed their dedication to fighting for affordable healthcare for all Americans. While the latest attempt to dismantle healthcare and Medicaid was soundly rejected, seniors, children and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid, and millions of jobs remain at risk under an administration that puts the interests of corporations before those of working people.
“Working people know — despite the latest failed attempt to take away healthcare, gut Medicaid and undermine job creation in our communities — that the fight is not over. Self-interested politicians share the same ultimate goal of taking away healthcare from millions of working families and undermining job creation in our communities,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “That’s why SEIU members, including frontline healthcare workers, are redoubling their commitment to winning quality, affordable healthcare for their families, their patients and clients, and everyone in America.”
On July 29th, as part of the Our Lives on the Line National Day of Action, SEIU members and allies will kick off a “healthcare voter” movement pledging to hold elected officials accountable and support those who protect care. With an eye towards 2018 elections, healthcare workers and consumers are registering voters at events across the nation, including Pennsylvania, in Richmond, Va., Las Vegas, Nev., a Missoula, Mont. farmers market, and at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport when members of the Michigan Congressional delegation return home.
The healthcare registration events follow months of actions of SEIU members, patients, consumers and activists – including 270,000 phone calls and more than 400 town halls, congressional visits and other actions – demanding that Congress protect healthcare security and preserve Medicaid for the 1 in 5 Americans who depend upon it. The events also coincide with the 52nd anniversary of Medicaid and Medicare becoming law.
SEIU, the nation’s largest healthcare workers union, is at the forefront of the effort to stop Republican attacks on working people, including quality healthcare and Medicaid. SEIU’s nurses, doctors, home care workers and other healthcare professionals will continue to join their voices together in their union and speak out for more affordable, quality healthcare. Because SEIU’s two million members stand united in a union, they are able to take action together against any effort by self-interested politicians, whether in Congress or the administration, to increase healthcare costs on working Americans while giving tax breaks to the wealthiest and to drug and insurance company executives.
“Today was not about whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. It was is about whether you are for affordable healthcare that people can count on” said Jan Kennedy, a registered nurse from Lithonia, Ohio. “Healthcare costs keep me and many people I know up at night and we are definitely going to evaluate our elected officials at the state and federal level on where they stand on this issue. We are healthcare voters. Instead of working to take away healthcare or increase healthcare costs for the majority of working families, Republicans in Congress need to listen to the voices of working people — and we are going to make sure they do just that.”
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.