Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Demand National Health Care For Everyone

Access to health care is a fundamental human right, not a luxury. People need and deserve universal, continuous, and accessible health coverage that is provided by a single payer and does not require full-time employment and a beneficent employer. It is time for our nation to adopt a national public health policy that ensures an equitable health care delivery system and a healthier society.

Action Needed:
Take Action: Ask your representative to co-sponsor the U.S. National Health Insurance Act, H.R. 676.


Introduced by Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.), the bill would create a publicly financed, privately delivered system for providing comprehensive health care for all U.S. residents by expanding and improving the existing Medicare program.

The goal of the legislation is to ensure that all U.S. residents have access to quality, affordable health care regardless of employment, income, or health status. The program covers all medically-necessary care, including primary care and prevention, prescription drugs, emergency care, mental health services, dentistry, eye care, and substance abuse treatment. Patients would also have the freedom to choose their physicians, providers, hospitals, and clinics.

Take Action: Tell your representative to ensure that the program covers the health needs of women and girls, just as it covers the health care needs of men and boys.

Approximately 45 million U.S. residents lack health insurance and another 50 million are underinsured. Our employer-based health insurance system disadvantages the poor, the unemployed, the part-time worker, the self-employed, and employees of small businesses. The costly and inefficient U.S. health care system spends over $2 trillion each year, the highest health care expenditure per capita worldwide. A third of this money is spent on insurance company profits, CEO salaries, marketing, lobbying, and other non-health care expenses.

Over the last five years, health care costs skyrocketed 87% while wages increased by only 20%. Many people do not go to the doctor, or receive recommended treatment, or fill prescriptions due to their lack of insurance or because they cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs. As prices continue to rise, both insured and uninsured individuals and families worry about their ability to access health care services.
While the U.S. has the highest health care expenditure in the world, we are not the healthiest nation. The U.S. ranks 31st in life expectancy and 28th in infant mortality rate among industrialized nations. Countries with single-payer health insurance have far better health outcomes and spend significantly less than the United States.

Take Action Now!
Contact your representative to say "Please co-sponsor the U.S. National Health Insurance Act (H.R. 676)." We must stop the health care industry and their lobbyists from "playing doctor" with our lives and gaining large profits at the expense of our health. We cannot make small or struggling businesses provide health insurance for their workers if the price of this coverage is exorbitant. We must take action to create a more cost-effective system of health care delivery that covers everyone.


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