Letter: Marching for affordable healthcare this labor day

This letter is to the Editor of Syracause.com

To the Editor:

On Sept. 3, the Greater Syracuse labor Council with join the rest of the labor community in America to celebrate its working men and women this Labor Day. We will recognize the hard work and sacrifices they make to keep America great. We will recognize the rich history of labor in America during struggles for equality for every member of society.
While it would seem we should all be thankful for low unemployment, our struggle does not end there. Real wages in the second quarter dropped 1.4 percent year over year, the largest drop in five years. More and more workers are being priced out of affordable healthcare, with increasing deductibles and increased pharmaceutical costs, while their real wages are decreasing. Over the past century, labor has fought to correct discrimination in the workplace. We have another type of discrimination in America: healthcare availability. Physicians and other healthcare workers and affiliates are often frustrated in the delivery of healthcare that is based on the type of insurance coverage a patient has instead of on their medical needs. It is time for provider groups, labor, government, insurance carriers and pharmaceutical companies to come together and devise a true universal care system that treats all of America's workers the same. This is how America remains competitive in a world economy, by ensuring the proper healthcare delivery that treats all Americans equally, not the patchwork system we have today. This is how we keep America great moving forward, treating our workers with respect and giving them the benefits they have already earned.
Recently much controversy has surrounded President Donald Trump's campaign slogan, "Make America great again," often polarizing opposite ends of the political spectrum. I thought back to a quote that had been used by President Dwight D. Eisenhower that hung on the kitchen wall of my immigrant grandparents: "America is great because she is good. And if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great."

Let us strive to keep America good as we fight for social justice and never forget our heritage. We need unity to stay above the political fray. As Eisenhower also said, "Extremes to the right and left of any political dispute are always wrong."

Please join us at at 10:30 a.m. on Labor Day at the New York State Fair for our annual parade and rally as we celebrate the American worker.

Dr. Dennis J. Nave
Greater Syracuse Labor Council

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