WILPF Endorses House Resolution 676, And here's why:

A summary of the National Health Insurance Act and a list of its sponsors and endorsers can be found here...

see resolution here ...

see text of the legislation here ...

Every human being has a right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The right to health is

...an inclusive right extending not only to timely and appropriate health care but also to the underlying determinants of health, such as access to safe and potable water and adequate sanitation, an adequate supply of safe food, nutrition and housing, healthy occupational and environmental conditions, and access to health-related education and information, including on sexual and reproductive health. A further important aspect is the participation of the population in all health-related decision-making at the community, national and international levels. (General comment 14, May 2000, to ICESCR)


WILPFers in Springfield Illinois have made common cause with Citizen's for Independent Living in organizing a "freedom ride" for the human rights of disabled people, including the right to health care.

The New York Metro Branch shares office space with HealthCare Now coalition staff to get more mileage from their resources.

Raging Grannies in the Peninsula/Palo Alto branch create songs about the need for a single-payer system and perform them at rallies and other public events.

The Cape Cod branch has initiated a dialogue with the Visiting Nurses Association in order to gather evidence about ongoing discrimination against non-native English speakers and immigrants in accessing health care.

Tell us about your branch; write to wilpf_ahr@lists.riseup.net

Governments around the world that are party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) have made a commitment to (a) provide for the reduction of the stillbirth-rate and of infant mortality and for the healthy development of the child; (b) improve all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene; (c) prevent, treat and control epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases; and (d) create conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness. (Adapted from Article 12). They are legally bound to try their best to raise the bar of public health in these ways, irregardless of the economic conditions affecting their countries.

Health care is also a human right. In a 2004 report, a Pennsylvania State Legislative Commission put it this way: access to adequate and affordable housing, adequate and affordable health care, adequate clothing and nutrition and quality education “are rights and not products available only to those who can afford them.” We support House Bill 676 because it seeks to provide universal access to health care by de-commodifying it.

Under international human rights law, governments have a responsibility to provide conditions that enable everyone to exercise his or her right to the highest possible quality of care by ensuring its availability, accessibility and cultural appropriateness. This responsibility is progressive, which means that governments are not allowed to cutback or rollback social safety nets that are already in place—they can only make them stronger and more nearly universal.

The Conyer’s proposal, H.R. 676 seeks to do just that: extend Medicare to all in the US. An easy way to remember this is through the slogan used by the HealthCare Now Coalition: “everybody in, nobody out.”

H.R. 676 needs active support from the grassroots. Consider how your branch can build commitment for this proposal among your state’s congressional delegation and among different constituencies in your area. Plan an action with the local affiliate of the Older Women’s League, the National Organization for Women, United Methodist Women or another organization that has endorsed this proposal.

Violations of the human rights to health and health care are ongoing in your community every day. Take the initiative to document them using the form provided here. The process of collecting this documentation will raise your own understanding of the scope and urgency of this issue, and through the documentation process you will find additional allies for the struggle to have the human rights of US residents recognized, protected and fulfilled.

Documentation collected locally can become part of larger advocacy efforts. Testimony you collect can become part of the presentation at the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign’s National Truth Commission in Cleveland this summer if you send it to Emilykwru@gmail.com, the documentation coordinator for the project.. Participate in a Citizen/Congressional Hearing or stage one in your home town.

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