The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is conducting a nationwide ‘Road to Healthcare‘ campaign. During the effort, SEIU has traveled by bus all across the country educating people on the healthcare issue and enlisting people to demand the same quality healthcare that our public officials receive. They were also calling for an end to the many racial disparities that exist in our current dysfunctional healthcare system. Their latest stop was today at Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration.
The SEIU bus was set up on MLK near Center Street. In front of the bus were several tables where the SEIU passed out literature on healthcare and asked people to sign cards to their elected officials demanding universal healthcare. They were also asking people to sign cards to officials asking them to support the full rights to form a union as protected in the Free Choice Act. After I signed a health care card, a member of SEIU declared that I was now ‘deputized’ in the fight for universal healthcare. He then gave me an SEIU ‘Road to Health Care’ pin that declared, ‘Healthcare for all, NOW!’
Also at the SEIU bus, members were handing out a packet entitled ‘John McCain’s Health Care Plan: Making a Bad Problem Worse.’ It went into a more detailed description of the many problems with the McCain plan on healthcare. For example, it would discourage employers from providing healthcare, leaving workers to fend for themselves. Seniors and people with preexisting conditions would find it more difficult to get coverage under the McCain plan. McCain’s plan includes no real cost-control mechanisms and instead would shift more costs onto families.
I also had the opportunity to speak with SEIU communications staff member Mark McCullough. He said that the SEIU expects the next president to seriously address our national healthcare crisis as soon as possible after taking office. He also correctly points out that if our leaders don’t fully address this challenge, change in other areas of our society will come up short because this issue has an impact on everything else.
As I stood nearby the SEIU ‘Road to Healthcare‘ bus I saw many people come up to the table and gladly sign up, joining the effort. Standing there, I could hear the many stories of problems and tragedies surrounding our current healthcare system. With each new person that came to the table, I could clearly see and hear another reason for finally delivering major healthcare reform in our country. Like most other people around the nation, no one had to tell the people at the Juneteenth celebration how important such reform would be in so many people.