News Release

Auto Bailout

SUSAN STEIGERWALT
A practicing physician in Detroit and past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, Steigerwalt said today: “The auto industry would be saving a huge amount of money and would not be in such dire straits if we had a single-payer healthcare system. The same is true for many industries and our country as a whole.”

For background see: “Shifting the health insurance burden: In Canada, GM and Ford executives and other business leaders laud single-payer health insurance; in the U.S. support on the CEO level is hard to find. Why?

MARK BRENNER
Director of Labor Notes, an independent periodical on labor based in Detroit, Brenner said today: “At every turn, executives at the ‘Big Three’ have demonstrated that they will chase the quick returns instead of looking out for what’s coming down the road. When they should have been focused on hybrids or even more bold alternatives, they were pumping out SUVs and other gas-guzzlers. We can’t count on them to solve this. They are part of the problem, not the solution.

“When it comes to the auto bailout we can’t approach this piecemeal. Giving money to the same people who got us into this mess — with no strings attached and no direction from the federal government — will be a disaster. If ever there was a time to completely rethink our approach to transportation and how we create good, environmentally sustainable jobs, now is it. But we have to start from what we need, not what the auto executives or their shareholders need.

“If the government is interested in immediate relief for the auto industry, now is the time for a game-changing move on healthcare. GM spends almost $5 billion on healthcare and is responsible for the healthcare of about a million active workers, retirees, and family members. The auto industry is Exhibit A for why we need a national, single-payer healthcare system.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020, (202) 421-6858; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167