Celebrate Medicare with Alachua County Labor Coalition

Event: Medicare Birthday Party
Where: Working Food, 219 NW 10th Ave.
When: Saturday, July 28, 5-7 p.m.

by Chad Hood

Each July, the Alachua County Labor Coalition celebrates Medicare, one of the greatest public health triumphs of the 20th century, with a birthday party.

Join us on Saturday, July 28, from 5 to 7 p.m. for cake, food/refreshments, and shared testimony about improving and expanding Medicare to all residents. This year’s celebration will be at Working Food in Gainesville at 219 NW 10th Ave.

The celebration is particularly jubilant this year in light of ACLC’s partnership with a new Medicare For All national campaign dedicated to making single-payer health care a political reality. The campaign is funding activists in key states around the country to strengthen a grassroots movement specifically for a single-payer system.

The group is sponsored by long-time supportive organizations like National Nurses United in partnership with other groups like Healthcare-NOW.

Experienced and passionate activists will be working in battleground states with a unified strategy – to build outrage and support for a national health care system that covers everyone while simultaneously saving billions of dollars.

Future events will be coordinated around national Medicare For All days of action.  These activities will eventually build toward asking residents and politicians alike to take a public stance on Medicare for All. This will inform and empower the citizenry to demand single-payer as an election-defining issue in 2020.

As a long-time single-payer supporter myself, I am energized and excited by this news. Senator Bernie Sanders bolstered single-payer as a realistic possibility in the popular press.

Fueled by paid organizers working around the country specifically on this issue, we are building a realistic road map to single-payer. It’s time to spread the word about Medicare for All as the true moral and financial solution.

When we get rid of private insurance companies and put all residents in a single plan, we save enough money to cover everyone.

Everybody in, nobody out!

Please join us at our annual Medicare Birthday Party to learn more. We are seeking healthcare stories to tell at this year’s event – about people who have been helped by Medicare, as well as those who continue to suffer without adequate coverage in our profit-driven system. If you’d like to share your story at this year’s event, please call our office at 352-375-2832 or contact us at info@laborcoalition.org. 

Medicare is one of our country’s most cherished and successful government programs. Instead of cutting it, we should be improving it and expanding it to cover all Americans.

• Before the passage of Medicare in 1965, only about half of seniors had medical insurance and 35 percent lived in poverty. Since then, Medicare has saved and improved the lives of millions of seniors with guaranteed health coverage.

• Medicare only spends about 3 percent on overhead, compared to 20 percent on average in the private insurance industry.  That means 97 cents of every dollar gets spent on actual healthcare – not on corporate profit and administrative waste.

• By moving all Americans into a “Medicare for All” type program, we could save over $400 billion per year. This money could then be used to improve Medicare payments and cover all necessary care – including dental, vision, mental health and long-term care. D

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