Join the Call-in Day for Health Care
It's your call -- if you want true, affordable, equitable and comprehensive health insurance coverage for all, make the call. Touch base with your senators and congressional representative while they are home this holiday season.
Take Action NOW! Call their district or state offices on Monday, Dec. 22 and ask them to provide real health care reform by supporting single-payer, publicly-financed health care.
NOW's call for real reform heats up on Dec. 22 when we kick off the campaign along with our coalition partners to advance the dream of universal, single-payer public financing of health care reform.
NOW activists called for single-payer health care 15 years ago, and now with reform possible in this new administration, it's the perfect time to urge those who will lead our country and our states (as well as the general public) to take the positions that are best for women and families. Please call your senators and representatives on Dec. 22, and form or join local coalitions in support of a single-payer solution--and encourage others to do the same. Read the background information below, or go to our website and enter your zip code to see our call-in talking points and your senators' and representative's district phone numbers.
Make that Call NOW
As the Obama administration and the 111th Congress begin their work in 2009 to reform our ailing health care system, we have an opportunity to advance NOW's long-standing policy supporting health care reform. In 1993, the NOW membership adopted a policy resolution calling for a single-payer health care program in the U.S. The resolution specifically calls not only for a universal health care plan but insists that it must cover all of the medical services vital to women's reproductive health. Read more about NOW's call for single payer health insurance.
During this past election season, health care reform was a hot topic, and a lot of promises were made. Now as we transition to a new administration, the discussion continues as the President- and Vice President-elect, along with members of Congress, begin to set priorities. As the economy sinks further into recession, with close to two million workers losing their jobs in the past year, more and more families are losing their health care coverage. So this issue cannot be placed on the back burner while we search for an economic stimulus and solutions to this crisis. According to the National Coalition on Healthcare, these jobless families join the 90 million people who were uninsured, partially insured or underinsured for all or part of 2006-2007. Having a job does not guarantee health insurance, since four out of five of those people without insurance were in working families.
The inability of the uninsured to pay their health care bills, combined with the increasing inability of even those who have some form of health insurance to pay out-of-pocket costs or the cost of medical procedures not covered by their plan, is at the heart of the continuing crisis. With health care cost inflation soaring, companies are dropping their increasingly expensive health insurance plans and self-employed individuals find insurance almost impossible to afford. A tragic fact of our failing system is that at least half and perhaps as many as 68 percent of personal bankruptcies are due to extraordinary medical costs.
NOW's call for single-payer health care addresses the fundamental problem with our health care system -- the absolute need to control costs while providing care for everyone. This recession may offer an opportunity for supporters of single-payer insurance to push forward with the true reform that can only be achieved through a plan that removes the insurance industry from the system. According to Physicians for a National Health Program, streamlining our country's system by paying through a single non-profit entity would save more than $350 billion per year.
As many small and large companies struggle to stay in business, as management and workers attempt to maintain a delicate balance between company survival and employee benefits, we have an opportunity to talk about what removing the insurance industry from our collective health care cost burden can do to help address the economic recession.
We are being told that we should accept that the "best we can do" is a mix of public/private health care and maintaining the insurance industry's role in a universal health care plan. This in fact may be what Congress is able to negotiate, but we need to outnumber our opponents, who are funded by the health insurance industry, and provide a voice for true comprehensive, universal health care for all. As our policy makers work through the complex steps necessary to restructure our nation's health care system we must be part of the national debate over this issue and give them the courage to at least consider single payer publicly funded health care for all.
Take Action NOW