The Health Justice working group is dedicated to advocating for health care as a human right with a class analysis. As socialists, we advocate first for the elimination of a profit-driven private insurance industry, to be replaced by public funding of health care through greater taxation of the top income earners. This would ensure accessible and free care to all, including those most marginalized and devalued by capitalism. Approximately 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance in the United States, and medical bills account for about 50% of all personal bankruptcies (75% of which had health insurance at the onset of illness or injury.) Under capitalism, the basic human right of health care is rationed to the upper class, which translates effectively to a right to life; for persons over 50 years old, the life expectancy of the top 20% income earners is 13 years longer than the life expectancy of the bottom 20% income earners.
We also believe that we should not stop here, and that we must replace privatized health care delivery (for-profit health care providers and hospital and pharmaceutical corporations) with a nationalized health program, where health care delivery would be public, democratic, and transparent. It has been well demonstrated that for-profit channels of health care incur higher costs but produce lower scores on health care measures and have higher death rates.
This DSA working group aims to petition, canvass, host town hall meetings, put pressure on elected officials, and strengthen community coalition in order to advocate for prompt and sustainable transition to a single-payer, and subsequently nationalized, health care program.
Current legislation this working group supports:
- The Medicare-for-All Act of 2017, S. 1804
- The Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, H.R. 676
- Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Programs, SB 800
- HB 579: Infectious Disease Elimination Pilot Programs
Look for upcoming events, plug in to our working group meetings (typically on the 4th Weds of the Month– see events page for details), and join our Discord server to share ideas, interests, and skills you’d like to contribute!