Every Longmont resident should have access to comprehensive, quality health care including vision, hearing, dental, and mental health services, City Council members affirmed Tuesday, April 25 by passing a Resolution by the Longmont City Council Endorsing Improved Medicare for All as the State or National Health System. With the council’s unanimous vote, Longmont joins a growing national chorus of municipalities across the US urging legislators to ensure all people have access to health care without barriers.
More than 116 cities including Denver, Fort Collins, Tucson, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Seattle, Tampa, Detroit, Knoxville, Milwaukie, Philadelphia, and Kalamazoo have passed similar measures. Efforts in more than 300 cities are underway.
The resolution cited the need for essential workers to have health care; for people to be able to afford health and housing; and for Longmont small businesses to be able to compete in attracting and retaining employees as reasons for endorsing a universal health care system for Colorado and the US.
“There’s an alarming number of homeowners in Boulder County who are housing burdened, meaning they’re paying more than 30 % of their monthly income in hosting costs. And there are many who are housing insecure, meaning they’re paying 50 % of their monthly income in housing costs. These folks are one medical emergency, one lost job, one car accident away from potentially being homeless, said Tim Waters, a City Council member who introduced the motion. “There is a strong correlation between housing security and access to quality affordable health care.”
“Health care is one of the big costs in every community, especially in Boulder County. This one is solvable by developing a new model for how we pay for the cost of health care that makes sure providers are made whole and citizens aren’t crushed in the process. It’s the will to get this done,” Waters said, adding he hopes the resolution “adds momentum to the will to actually solve this problem.”
Longmont’s Proclamation follows similar resolutions passed by the Colorado municipal leaders of Denver, Fort Collins, and the Town of Jamestown.
“I live in Longmont. The city suffers a lot of impact from people not being covered. It has a financial and social impact on the city,” said Ingrid Moore, vice president for Longmont Area Dems. She and other activists encouraged the council to adopt the resolution. People would be better off and need city services less if everyone had access to quality health care—and it would save the city on health care.
As health care costs drain public coffers, they hamper local governments’ and school districts’ ability to serve the public good as they are tasked to do, for example by investing in open space or libraries, hiring teachers, or improving safety. We can do better!
Thanks to Longmont City Council members for standing up for a health care system that benefits everyone!