by Mike Hall, Jul 23, 2008
Bandages may work OK for scraped knees, but as Working America members and union activists in Minnesota told Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) today, the nation’s broken health care system needs serious and comprehensive reform—not a “Bandage Solution.”
The activists marched to Coleman’s office in St. Paul and at a press conference outside the office delivered a long roll of “No Bandage Solution” petitions strung together by colorful bandages and signed by more than 23,000 Working America members in Minnesota.
David Wehde, Working America’s state director, said:
Working America is talking to people in neighborhoods every day about health care and other issues that concern working families….Health care is an issue that concerns everyone. Health care costs are battering working families. Working America members tell us they’re worried that they might not be able to get the care they need if they or their family gets sick.
Minnesota AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Steve Hunter said Coleman’s record in the Senate on health care issues shows he lines up on the side of the insurance industry and Big Pharma. The Center for Responsive Politics, he said, reports Coleman has accepted more than $450,000 in contributions from the insurance industry and nearly $290,000 from the pharmaceutical industry since running for the Senate. Said Hunter:
For far too long, politicians like Sen. Norm Coleman have put the interests of Big Pharma and the insurance industry above working families’ health care needs That’s why more than 47 million Americans are uninsured. That’s why those of us lucky enough to have coverage are receiving less and paying more.
Health care is definitely on the minds of voters this year. Of the nearly 27,000 people who participated in the AFL-CIO/Working America 2008 Health Care for America Survey, 79 percent said health care will be a key issue when they cast their ballots this year, and 97 percent said they planned to vote this fall. Said Hunter:
The AFL-CIO and Working America will be more active than ever to ensure that working families all across the state know exactly where elected officials stand on the issues that matter and are hearing from working people about what needs to be done to change our country’s direction.
Today’s event was the second of several scheduled this summer, as Working America canvassers gather signatures on “No Bandage Solution” petitions across the country. Working America, the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate, has some 2 million members nationwide, including more than 106,000 in Minnesota.