On January 8, 2009 there was a Press Conference in the Minnesota Capitol in St Paul, organized by a coalition of "Trade Union" and so called "progressive" groups.The organization included TakeAction Minnesota, AFSCME Council 5, Children's Defense Fund Minnesota, Education Minnesota, ISAIAH, Minnesota Nurses Association, SEIU Minnesota State Council, The AFL-CIO.
The Press Conference was organized to trumpet "coalition representing 350,000 Minnesotans will launch its "Make Health Happen" campaign to reform the state's health care system, which now leaves hundreds of thousands of state residents without health coverage and many thousands more underinsured."
These group of self described "progressives" support the "Minnesota Health Security Act" to be Introduced The group will also unveil the "Minnesota Health Security Act" (MHSA) which charts a clear path to guaranteed affordable health coverage for all Minnesotans, starting with children. It will be introduced in both the House and Senate. The bill is based on the Children's health Security Act, which successfully passed the state House in 2007. The bill's authors, Representative Paul Thissen and Senator Tony Lourey, will participate in the event.
While all the groups involved should hand their heads in shame, by supporting this pro-corporate, HMO and Big Pharma Bill, this is especially the case for the MNA Minnesota Nurses Association. Compare their position to a REAL Nurses Union, the CNA California Nurses Association which publicly advocates for Single payer Healthcare.
There is a Single Payer Bill, authored by Representative John Marty. However, the assembled group of self described "progressive" and Trade Union activist chose to support this corporate Healthcare Bill. A Bill which could very well set back the Movement for Single Payer while cementing what is wrong with our healthcare system, which is the corporate, HMO, Insurance and Big Pharma corruption of healthcare.
I stood at this Press Conference, holding a sign that stated SELL OUT. To those glittering "beautiful people" assembled, I heard snickers and glances of contempt. Mirroring the same snickers and looks I have had of other right wingers at protests. As to why these groups would support this corporate friendly healthcare bill, while abandoning a real progressive bill, John Marty's Single Payer Bill, well that needs to be analyzed.
Could it be that all these "progressive" and even "radical" groups support this Bill because of their kow towing to corporate leadership, which is deeply in the pockets of Insurance Companies, Big Pharma and HMO's.
What is their price, their 30 pieces of silver for this betrayal? Has the Trade Union leadership become the enemies of actual progressive politics? Is this even a debatable issue at this point? This long time Trade Union activist left the MNA over this very issue and proudly joined with the IWW. I am now a proud Wobblie.
Because I support the poor and oppose the corporate power. Unlike the MNA, AFSME and other "progressive" groups like Sell Out Minnesota, sorry I mean Take Action Minnesota.
To the rest of the nation, note that if Minnesota is able to pass a real Single Payer Bill, that it can give impetus for Single Payer in all the nation. That is how Single payer was passed in Canada. By having one Province introduce Single Payer. Small businesses' flocked to the Province and the rest is history. So this is important, not just for Minnesotans but to all Americans.