Supreme Court Decision on Unions Means Workers and Consumers Must Redouble Efforts on Accessible, Affordable Health Care

Today the United States Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision struck down a decades old precedent on public sector unions, with major health implications.
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For immediate release: Wednesday, June 27, 2018

For more information, contact:
Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, 916-870-4782 (cell)
Rachel Linn Gish, director of communications, Health Access California, 916-532-2128 (cell)

SUPREME COURT DECISION ON UNIONS MEANS WORKERS AND CONSUMERS NEED TO REDOUBLE EFFORTS FOR ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE

Sacramento, CA – Today the United States Supreme Court on a 5-4 decision struck down a decades old precedent on public sector unions, with major health implications. Here is a comment by Anthony Wright, Executive Director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, of which several California labor unions are members:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision is bad for the health and well-being of not just unionized workers but all Americans. As Justice Kagan says in her dissent this decision uses the First Amendment as a sword that could go after not just labor laws but patient protections and more.”

“We are concerned that this decision may weaken many of our best advocates for accessible and affordable health care.”

“The power of organized labor has been essential in victories in California to protect patients from the prices and abuses of drug companies, insurers, and other industry players. From banning surprise medical bills to reigning in skyrocketing prescription drug costs, the active support of California labor unions helped pass some of the strongest consumer protection legislation in the country. By limiting labor unions, this decision gives even more power to employers who want to shift more cost-sharing onto workers, and to Big Pharma, health insurers, and others looking to profit in the health care system.”

“Everyone who cares about health care should care about the vitality of our labor unions. Regardless of this destructive court decision, we believe unions will remain an important partner and leader in the work to advocate on behalf of consumers. We urge every worker to support their union for a healthier, more accountable, more affordable health system.”

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