For immediate release
February 4, 2021
President Taylor: “We need 100% emergency COBRA coverage now. Eighty percent of our workers are out of work, out of health insurance, out of money.”
Taylor, the International President of UNITE HERE, the hospitality union with over 80% of its members who currently are unemployed as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, is calling on the Senate to pass the ‘Worker Health Coverage Protection Act’ introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). The Senate bill reflects the worker health protection sections of the previously passed House CARES Act.
“We are in a healthcare crisis yet millions are losing the one thing they need most right now: their health insurance. That is why I am pleased that Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) have once again introduced the ‘Worker Health Coverage Protection Act’ that will provide 100% emergency coverage of health care premiums until workers are able to return to work and assume their coverage once again. The bill mirrors the legislation from the last session, S.4714.
“It is a desperate situation out here. We need 100% emergency COBRA coverage now. Eighty percent of our workers are out of work, out of health insurance, out of money. If Congress cannot agree on a large and vitally needed legislative package to bring relief to Americans, then please pass the Worker Health Coverage Protection Act to give workers at least one bit of comfort knowing their healthcare is intact.”
One of the most powerful tools Congress can use is to provide 100% premium payments for those American workers who are unemployed, but cannot afford their insurance premiums. Working people are barely treading water right now; anything less than 100% coverage will sink them.
Concluded Taylor, “We are living in an unprecedented time that requires unprecedented action by employers and government alike. Workers are faced with a triple threat: loss of job, loss of health insurance, and loss of their life due to the threat of the virus. A number of our members have already been affected by loss of life or hospitalization due to COVID-19. Doing nothing is not an option. Whether it is the broader Biden relief plan, or a stand-alone bill, Congress must help workers in their time of peril.”
UNITE HERE is a labor union that represents over 300,000 members working in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada.