A RESOLUTION OF THE NORTH DAKOTA AFL-CIO, URGING POLITICAL LEADERS SERVING THE STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA TO SUPPORT AND/OR HELP DEVELOP LEGISLATION THAT WILL PROVIDE MORE EQUITABLE, EFFICIENT, COMPREHENSIVE, AFFORDABLE, HIGH QUALITY, AND UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE

NORTH DAKOTA AFL-CIO 60th CONVENTION

A RESOLUTION OF THE NORTH DAKOTA AFL-CIO, URGING POLITICAL LEADERS SERVING THE STATE OF NORTH DAKOTA TO SUPPORT AND/OR HELP DEVELOP LEGISLATION THAT WILL PROVIDE MORE EQUITABLE, EFFICIENT, COMPREHENSIVE, AFFORDABLE, HIGH QUALITY, AND UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE FOR ALL LONG-TERM RESIDENTS OF NORTH DAKOTA.

WHEREAS, this nation’s Founders established a vision for its citizens to have certain rights that include “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”; and

WHEREAS, achieving the goal of living a happy, free, and productive life can be severely hampered for individuals and families who cannot access quality health care to prevent and treat disease or injury; and

WHEREAS, individuals and families are negatively affected when their health concerns impact their ability to work, endangering their economic stability and putting them at risk for bankruptcy or homelessness; and

WHEREAS, medical debt is responsible for at least 25 percent of individual bankruptcies in the U.S.; and

WHEREAS, the rising cost of health insurance is pricing many individuals and families out of the market; and

WHEREAS, the percentage of Americans getting their health insurance through their employer is declining; and

WHEREAS, the United States spends over twice as much per capita on health care annually, but still sees poorer outcomes in things like infant mortality, chronic disease, and life expectancy than countries spending less; and

WHEREAS, multiple reports confirm that universal health programs are achievable and improve population health and reduce health costs for citizens, businesses, and governments by reducing administrative expenses and increasing governing agencies’ power to negotiate with suppliers; and

WHEREAS, universal health care coverage can be achieved while preserving an individual's right to choose his or her health care provider and exercise control over health care decisions; and

WHEREAS a majority of Americans support some type of universal health insurance program; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Dakota has already established goals meant to achieve improved health care at a lower cost for its citizens, evidenced by its expansion of Medicaid in 2013; and

WHEREAS, the uninsured rate in some North Dakota counties still exceeds 12 percent and nearly 15 percent people living in Grand Forks County, for example, lived below the poverty line in 2018; and

WHEREAS, helping North Dakota businesses, farmers, and entrepreneurs reduce health care expenditures will free them to invest in themselves, raise wages, expand operations, and recruit and retain workers; and

WHEREAS, honorary North Dakotan and Republican President Teddy Roosevelt was among the first American politicians to advocate for a national health care program over a century ago; and

WHEREAS, the State of North Dakota has the historic opportunity to: 1) be the first state to pass legislation ensuring that all legal residents are protected through universal health coverage; and 2) finance such a program.

Therefore, be it Resolved that North Dakota AFL-CIO urges political leaders serving the state of North Dakota to support and/or help develop legislation that will provide more equitable, efficient, comprehensive, affordable, high quality, and universal healthcare to all legal residents of North Dakota, in a manner that is transparent, accountable, and involves meaningful public participation.

Introduced and adopted by the North Dakota AFL-CIO on June 7, 2019. This resolution is effective immediately.