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TEAMSTERS UNION ENDORSES NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE

 WASHINGTON, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Teamsters President Ron Carey today issued the following statement in endorsing the American Health Security Act of 1993, sponsored by Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.), Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), and Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.):
 The Teamsters Union strongly supports the American Health Security Act of 1993 and will work to either get this legislation passed or have its provisions incorporated into President Clinton's health care reform proposal.
 This bill provides a real cure for America's sick health care system. It is a prescription for real security for America's working people. It is the only health care reform plan we have seen that truly puts people first.
 The bill would bring down costs. It would cover the health care needs of everyone -- regardless of employment status, age, health, or income. It preserves freedom of choice. And it gives the American public the chance to hold health care providers accountable, and to have a real voice in our health insurance system.
 Unlike some other plans, this bill will give the public the bargaining power to reduce costs. That is the only way to provide affordable care to all without imposing new net costs on working people.
 This bill will face strong opposition from the special interests, especially the insurance companies and the drug companies. The Teamsters Union will join with other citizens' groups to do everything in our power to overcome the special interests and win real health care reform.
 We will participate in rallies, demonstrations, and other actions to support the principles in this bill. In just the past seven weeks, we have collected more than 200,000 "TeamsterGrams" -- each one personally filled out and signed by a Teamster member, retiree, or family member -- calling on President Clinton and Congress to enact a health care reform proposal that contains the provisions of this bill. (The TeamsterGrams also call for action on workers' rights, fair trade, regulatory reform, and investment in good jobs.)
 Many of the 1.5 million Teamsters families have health coverage. But over the past 12 years we have seen the cost of care more than double, and the experts tell us it will double again by the year 2000 unless major changes are made.
 Runaway health care costs are affecting Americans' health and standard of living.
 When we go to negotiate new contracts with our employers, a huge proportion of the available dollars goes to cover health care cost increases instead of to maintaining or improving wages and working conditions.
 Most of the lockouts or strikes involving Teamster employers are caused, at least in part, by disputes over soaring health care costs.
 Our members also pay for the lack of a national health insurance system when hospitals and doctors charge us more to cover their losses from care provided to workers for non-union employers who don't provide proper health coverage.
 Many of our retirees do not have proper medical coverage -- just at the time in their lives when they need it most.
 For years, Teamsters families in Canada have enjoyed the benefits of national health insurance. In fact, the U.S. is the only major industrialized country which doesn't have some kind of national insurance program.
 The United States cannot solve its economic problems, provide good jobs for its people, and participate on an even footing in the world economy as long as it wastes far more of its resources on runaway health care costs than any other country.
 -0- 3/5/93
 /CONTACT: Nancy Stella or Matt Witt of the Teamsters Union, 202-624-6911/


CO: Teamsters Union ST: District of Columbia IN: HEA SU: LEG

TW -- DC017 -- 3511 03/05/93 14:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 5, 1993
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