Saturday, March 25, 2017

We are one

Trumpcare is dead.
At least for now.

The AHCA, which would have replaced the ACA, was pulled from the floor of the House of Representatives moments before a vote.
We came very close to replacing a healthcare system which is in need of repair with one that would have been devastating.
It would have given a tax break to the top 1% of Americans while eliminating Healthcare coverage for 24 million Americans.

The pushback from Nurses and other Healthcare Professionals was predictable, although the level of pushback surprised even me and gave me a deep sense of pride. 
What I am also proud of is how other groups also pushed back.  In particular, members of my union AFT who work in education and public service, who joined in unity with their healthcare sisters and brothers in this fight.
I had seen this earlier in the year when Betsey Davos was nominated for Secretary of Education. It wasn't just Educators that objected, we all did.
I saw it again yesterday at the Connecticut State Capitol, when 96 anti public sector bills were heard in the Appropriations Committee, and members from healthcare and education joined public service members to speak at press conferences, a rally, and in testimony before the committee.

My sisters and brothers understand.

An attack on healthcare, on education, or on public services, is the same thing.
They are inter-related.

We are lucky in AFT Connecticut to have members from all the divisions of AFT:
K-12 Teachers
PSRP (Paraprofessionals and school related personnel)
Public Services
Nurses and other Healthcare Professions
Higher Education

I have always said that of our 30,000 members, a certain number are teachers, a certain number are healthcare, etc., but today I do not feel that way.
Although I have never stood at the front of a classroom or worked in state public service and although others have never stood at the bedside, today I paraphrase Jack Kennedy in 1963 when he said in Berlin, "Ich bin ein Berliner."

AFT Connecticut is a diverse union of 30,000 members.
AFT is a diverse union of 1.6 million members.
And each of us is an educator, and a healer, and a public servant.


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