After a vote Tuesday, the City Council threw its support behind universal health care, passing a resolution to back federal legislation to establish a new paradigm for medical insurance.
If passed through Congress, the HR-676 will create a single-payer health care system administered by private entities and funded by the government. The legislation will provide access to health insurance for all Americans.
Numerous members of the public addressed the council to voice their support for the system.
“Where is our sense of moral outrage?” asked Rabbi Linda Motzkin, of Temple Sinai, after noting that members of the public frequently address her, as a member of the clergy, in seeking help to navigate the private health insurance industry. She said “every other western Democracy” provides access to health care for its citizens.
Jane Weihe, a former candidate for commissioner of finance, also urged the council to support the measure, saying it would remove a large portion of the personnel cost from the city’s budget.
Wilma Koss was the only person who urged the council to not support the measure.
“The city should refrain from taking positions on national issues over which it has no jurisdiction,” she said. She further commented that if adopted, the legislation could take health care decisions out of the hands of patients.
In calling for a vote on backing the resolution, Commissioner of Accounts John Franck said he supported the plan as a fiscal conservative, noting that the plan could save government money on many levels, and urged his colleagues on the council to join a growing number of communities backing the legislation.
In the 4-1 vote, Commissioner of Finance Kenneth Ivins Jr. was the only “no” vote.