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in these timesSEIU supports a single-payer health care system in New York. As a result of its support, along with that of the teachers union, a single-payer bill was passed by the lower chamber of the state legislature.

[Democrat Assembly Member Richard] Gottfried has led a decades-long effort in the Assembly for universal care. But the difference this time was the number of major unions actively supporting it. They gave the bill a big boost.

Traditional single-payer advocates like the New York State Nurses (NYSNA) and the New York City stagehands’ union, IATSE Local 1, have backed Gottfried’s bills before.

This year marked the first time they were joined by such influential statewide unions as Service Employees (SEIU) 1199 and New York State United Teachers (NYSUT/AFT).

Those unions’ lobbying efforts helped convince legislators the bill was politically viable. And their financial support was crucial to hiring community organizers in key regions.

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