- Category: NWL website
Download the Women's Liberation Taskforce for National Healthcare tri-fold brochure [PDF, 100K]
If we hear one more person tell us women can now "have it all" we're gonna scream.
We haven't given up the goal of combining family, work, and community life...but as it is right now we've been doing it all, not having it all, and we refuse to go on this way unless we have more guarantees and more equality with men. What kind of guarantees and equality?
Feminists are fighting for housework to be shared equally between men and women. For universal child care. For equal pay.
And now we've added to the list: A national health system in the USA. A system that covers everyone, no matter their age, occupation, marital status or employment status.
We want a system where women don't have to:
- struggle to pay for our children's health care
- worry about health insurance coverage in deciding to marry or divorce
- give up health insurance when we work part-time or in the home
- decide that having a child is unaffordable because of health care costs
- leave jobs to provide long term care for dependent family members
- prove an extremely low income to qualify for Medicaid for ourselves and our children
How can we take the costs and work of health care off of individual family members (most times women) and make health care a responsibility shared by everyone in the US?
We know it can be done because in all other industrialized countries in the world, national health care systems do just that. And it turns out it costs less money per person! This is because these systems cut out insurance company profits and paperwork. In Canada, where both women and men live longer, they spend half as much per person on health care and EVERYONE is covered.
Right now in the US, women are caught in a trap because our insurance is tied to our jobs. Because we get paid less than men, women more often take time out from paid work for family responsibilities.
But when we do, we end up relying on others for our income and health insurance. Or we go without insurance entirely. If everyone was covered through a national system, we wouldn't have to rely on a spouse's insurance, and we wouldn't give up health insurance if we work part-time or when we work in the home.
We can't win a national health system without a big battle. Insurance companies are making a lot of money from our misfortune. You can help win a national health insurance system that is much fairer to women and covers everyone. Simply fill out the form attached and mail it back to us. Your membership or a contribution of any size will help us tell other women about what we have to gain from national health care. Please contact us if your organization is interested in joining this task force, which was founded December 1999.
Since our insurance doesn't cover long-term care, we end up with the responsibility for taking care of dependent family members, whether they be parents, children, or other loved ones. In other countries, assistance for long-term care is provided to everyone as part of the national health care system.
With national health insurance, the following would be covered for every resident of any age:
- Doctor visits, hospitalization, and access to specialists
- Dental, vision, and mental health services
- Prescription drugs and medical supplies
- Quality nursing home and long-term care
- Occupational health, preventative, and rehabilitative services
To read more, purchase "Women's Liberation and National Health Care: Confronting the Myth of America," Redstockings Organizing Packet, Kathie Sarachild, Jenny Brown and Amy Coenen eds. (2001). Available through the Redstockings Women’s Liberation Archives for Action.