Looking ahead toward the 2008 election, the AFL-CIO is launching a new drive coinciding with Labor Day weekend to push for universal healthcare coverage.
Ten million of its members and 3 million of its retirees are holding rallies and press conferences, lobbying lawmakers, and going door to door to speak with voters about the importance of securing healthcare for all Americans. The AFL-CIO isn't backing specific universal healthcare legislation at this point, but it will hold a rally next week on Capitol Hill urging President Bush not to veto the reauthorization of State Children's Health Insurance Program, which allows states to provide coverage for the uninsured.
As part of the campaign, the union federation has created a list of seven principles that it thinks should be included in any of the presidential candidates' healthcare reform proposals, including having the government play a central role, controlling rising costs, and allowing people to choose their own doctors.
"Our campaign is based on the simple premise that no one in America should go without healthcare," says AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, "and we're going to make sure candidates and elected leaders understand that we'll accept nothing less."