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Another Ally in the Fight for Single Payer

The Labor Party, composed of unionists who think organized labor should form its own political party, will soon announce a national campaign to win single payer health care according to one of the party's founders, Tony Mazzocchi. Mazocchi was in town to address the MichUHCAN forum September 19 on "Labor, Health Care and Social Justice."

Mazzocchi is a long-time leader in the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union which has been one of the staunchest supporters of the Labor Party since its founding in 1996. The OCAW, says Mazzocchi, was also one of only a few groups that stuck to the single payer agenda while Clinton was proposing "universal" coverage through "managed competition." Others were the Gray Panthers, Ralph Nader's Public Citizen, the independent United Electrical Workers Union, and Physicians for a National Health Program.

Mazzocchi says it was a big mistake for some who had supported single payer to be distracted by the Clinton plan - a mistake that won't be repeated by the coalition for health care the Labor Party envisions.

The campaign will include training for activists, forums in several cities, and a petition campaign involving door-to-door signature gathering; the slogan "Just Health Care" is being proposed as more attractive and understandable than the phrase "single payer." The campaign will be officially launched at the Labor Party convention, November 13-15, in Pittsburgh. (Phone 202-234-5194 for more details.)

The Labor Party convention is the same weekend as the national meetings of UHCAN and PNHP. Look for reports on these groups' national strategy at the December meeting of Detroit MichUHCAN.

Above posted Nov. 1, 1998. Below, a photo from the LP Convention

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