Single-payer healthcare activists draw inspiration from last fall’s Chicago Teachers Union strike

February 1, 2013

Trevor TenBrink Trevor TenBrink

Trevor was website administrator for EAG from December 2012 to March 2014.
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By Ben Velderman
CHICAGO – A group of union activists who are intent on nationalizing the American health care system say last fall’s Chicago teachers’ strike gave them a blueprint for accomplishing their goal. reports that “some 200 union advocates of single-payer government-run health care met in Chicago in mid-January to plan their next moves.” Fifty  different unions were represented at the meeting.
The group, which operates under the website, says President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act doesn’t go nearly far enough.  
During the group’s meeting, “Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis drew parallels between the struggles for quality public education and quality universal health care,” reports
The single-payer activists were apparently moved by Lewis’ remarks and were inspired by the CTU’s seven-day teachers’ strike that occurred last September.
The group praised the teachers union for confronting “an arrogant and entrenched political machine headed by (Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel.”
Conference delegates declared that CTU’s “victory was a model of community outreach and member-driven activism. These are the organizing principles that labor must adopt if we are to lead the way to winning single-payer, Medicare for All for everyone in America,” according to the
Building on the “organizing” pattern established by the CTU, the single-payer activists agreed to focus on building coalitions with medical providers, community groups and the disabled.

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