County Board Votes for Universal Health Care

The La Crosse County Board on Thursday passed a resolution in support of the introduction of a universal health care system in the U.S.

The resolution called on U.S. senators Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson and U.S. Rep. Ron Kind to work toward the immediate implementation of universal health care.

Coulee Democratic Socialists and Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Region Co-op organized a campaign to encourage the county board to pass the resolution, which the two groups viewed as being in support of the Medicare for All Act of 2019.

“Single payer, publicly funded, national health care insurance is the most economical and most equitable way to achieve full health care services for all people,” said Citizen Action of Wisconsin Driftless Region Co-op member Dr. Mark Neumann in a statement.

Dr. Neumann is challenging Kind in the Aug. 11 Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District. Kind does not support Medicare for All.

The resolution approved by the county board is one of 38 that have been passed by cities and counties across the U.S. since 2018. Polling has shown that a majority of Americans support Medicare for All, and backing for the program has grown since COVID-19 began to sweep the nation, causing millions to lose their jobs and consequently their health insurance.

“This pandemic should especially open our eyes and spotlight the systemic inequities at the root of our health care system that wrongly treats health care as a privilege rather than a human right,” said 4th District Supervisor Maureen Freedland.

The Medicare for All Act of 2019 would guarantee comprehensive health care coverage for all Americans and would eliminate co-pays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs that are keeping needed health care out of reach for residents of La Crosse County.

County Board Chairperson and Citizen Action of Wisconsin member Monica Kruse stated, “Our voices will join those of the many other counties across Wisconsin and throughout the nation demanding a more equitable, more efficient and more inclusive health care system.”

The resolution of support passed the county’s executive committee unanimously and the county’s health and human services committee 8-0. At the county board meeting on Thursday, the only no votes came from 25th District Supervisor David Hundt and 17th District Supervisor Jack Pogreba.

Click here for more on Medicare for All.

By Eric Timmons. Top photo: U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks in favor of Medicare for All in September, 2019/CC BY 2.0. Questions? Email lacrosseindependent@gmail.com.

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