Resolution to Endorse H.R. 676

Prepared by the Advancing Human Rights Issues Committee
Adopted by WILPF U.S. Section
April 2006

FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA, we pledge to help build the movement for a single payer universal health care system that will serve every person in the United States. WILPF has always stood for economic justice and women’s equality as prerequisite to sustainable peace. In its principles and policies (1987), WILPF U.S. has clearly stated its support for “a comprehensive national health care and maintenance program for everyone” a position grounded in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states that “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”

Yet the absence of universal health care in the United States that meets the human rights benchmarks of being available, accessible and culturally appropriate, continues to cause the premature death, chronic illness, and impoverishment of many, disproportionately female, individuals, to their detriment and to the detriment of their children and communities. This situation stems not from lack of resources but from their maldistribution.

Each year, in the United States, more than 18,000 die for lack of health insurance. Drug companies’ profits average four times those of other Fortune 500 companies. The United States is the only industrialized nation without a national health care system.

Our country pays 50 percent more of our Gross Domestic Product on health care than nations with national health care programs. Consequently, the richest country, according to the World Organization, ranks a mere 37th in the world in quality health care, and our economy is hurting as a result.

We are part of a national movement joining with other organizations across the country working to pass universal, single payer health insurance as embodied in H.R. 676, introduced by WILPF sponsor Rep. John Conyers, D-MI.

H.R. 676 calls for a National Health Insurance Act, an expansion and improved version of Medicare for All. The new legislation, if passed, would save billions of dollars now spent on unnecessary duplication and obscene administrative costs. It would eliminate profiteering health care.

H.R. 676 would allow individuals the ability to choose their own physicians. It would pay for prescriptions. It would include coverage for home health care, nursing home, dental, vision, mental health, hospitals, office visits, physicians and rehabilitation. It would cover prescription drugs for everyone and remain in place even if one lost a job or retired.

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