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News ::
Union members, public urged to "Take a Break" for health care reform (english)
18 Nov 2003
Modified: 22 Nov 2003
Union activists and health care reformers across the state are mobilizing for an education campaign to provide the public with more information about the reasons health insurance costs are skyrocketing and what needs to be done to make it more affordable.
Three week blitz kicks off broad health care education campaign

Union activists and health care reformers across the state are mobilizing for an education campaign to provide the public with more information about the reasons health insurance costs are skyrocketing and what needs to be done to make it more affordable.

The campaign also gives participants a chance to “vote” for a “Medicare for All” solution that would cover everyone and more effectively control costs. Medicare is the federal insurance program that already covers the vast majority of people over age 65. The program’s administrative costs are less than 5 percent, while overhead for private, employer-based insurance eats up about 30 percent of health care spending.

The health care ballots will be counted on December 5 by Massachusetts Jobs with Justice, a community-labor coalition that is spearheading the campaign.

“This is a great effort to broaden the public's understanding about health care reform efforts,” said Sen. Steven Tolman, lead sponsor of a proposed state reform that would similarly provide health insurance for everyone in Massachusetts.

Some of the organizations participating in the Take a Break for Health Care campaign include IBEW Local 2222, the Lynn Health Task Force, Mass. Coalition for Healthy Communities, Lower/Outer Cape Community Coalition, MNA, Mass Senior Action Council, SEIU Local 2020, Sisters Together Ending Poverty, Teamsters Local 122, and Utility Workers Local 369.

The education effort follows a Health Care Action Day last June, when tens of thousands of workers and community activists wore stickers to protest threatened cuts in medical benefits and health care services. After the sticker day, many participants asked for more detailed information about the financing and feasibility of providing health care for all.

Backed up by unions and community groups, Jobs with Justice’s Health Care Action Committee links struggles against insurance cost shifting and cuts in health care services to help build a larger movement for reform. Another Health Care Action Day is planned for next year.

Copies of the Take a Break for Health Care campaign materials are available from Rand Wilson at the above number. They may also be obtained from JWJ’s web site at www.massjwj.net.
See also:
www.massjwj.net
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Health Activists Miss Opportunity (english)
22 Nov 2003
Health care activists are missing a Golden Opportunity to legitimately discredit the For-Profit health establishment that stands in the way of a PUBLIC FUNDED universal system.

The Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) posts public information about where health insurers invest what was our money. It's at their EDGAR database...to tricky for avg computer users to navigate...but it's there.

One thing found, by members of PHNP..Physicians for a National Health Program...was that some of our Top Health Insurers are multi-million dollar investors in none other but Top Cigarette Manufacturers! Noting the enormous campaign to demonized this cig industry, it would be a major embarrassment to these insurers if this was, finally, WIDELY PUBLICIZED.

See the story: http://www.pnhp.org/news/2000/march/insurers_are_major_i.php

Who, after all, would want to have their, or their children's, health care managed by part OWNERS of the cigarette industry?
How can medical diagnoses be trusted if the illness may be caused not by tobacco but by any of, or combination of, many hundreds of untested, often toxic and cancer-causing NON-Tobacco cigarette adulterants? For an insurer to even look into this would indict the cigarette makers for far more than just providing tobacco. And...if cig makers took this hit, the hit would also be on their insurers AND investors. Remember...Big Insurance is the biggest investment community on Wall St.

If the cig investing stories don't do the trick of getting these insurers out of our way...the SEC files may also show Insurer investments in hosts of other health-damaging industries...including those, like tobacco pesticides, tobacco fertilizers, other cig adulterants, that are linked again to this, the most reviled industry in the country.

We can research, and must at least ASK, about insurer investments in Nukes, for instance...or military weaponry, or GM crops, or toxic waste, plastics, chlorine/dioxin, oil, fats and sugars, and other threats to health. Beyond that, many would not care to have their health care administered by insurers that insure or invest in logging, mining, grazing, SUVs, or the like.

Also...it may not be acceptable to many that their health insurance money is, although second-handedly, going to investments in corporations they oppose for political, moral, religious or business reasons. That is...one's insurer may be taking one's money and investing it in firms that are competitors to ones' own business or investment properties!

Since we are not told about this we MUST ask, and look it up, and spread the info to the far corners of the country...and as soon as possible.