Ten Theses on Health Care

Ten Theses on Health Care
Sandy Eaton, RN, January 2010 (revised 2014)

  1. We declare health care to be a human right, not a commodity; a social good, not a vehicle for individual or corporate aggrandizement.1
  2. The fight to achieve healthcare justice must unite the battles for access, affordability, quality and equality, or fail.2
  3. This can only be fully achieved by a system of socialized medicine within a socialist society.
  4. Major advances along this path can be reached through the socialization of health insurance, commonly referred to as single payer or Medicare for all.
  5. Universal access to care is most closely approximated with single payer, not the individual mandate that has been counterposed to it, as the Massachusetts experience proves.3
  6. We cannot afford universal access to quality care so long as the albatross of commercial health insurance, coupled with the unfettered greed of drug and medical device manufacturers, and hospital conglomerates, remains around our necks.
  7. While an estimated 45,000 people die each year in the United States from lack of health insurance, an estimated 440,0004 die from preventable mishaps after gaining access to acute care facilities, as the system has been transformed into an assembly line.
  8. Embedded in a grossly unequal racist, male supremacist, xenophobic and homophobic society, health outcomes vary sharply among communities, requiring that the fight for equality imbue every aspect and stage of the larger struggle.5
  9. Individual, family and community health is intimately tied to environment, indoor and outdoor, as well as to housing, employment and education.
  10. The healthcare workforce in all capacities and venues is an invaluable resource in the fight for healthcare justice, and it must be organized, empowered and unleashed in order to fulfill this role.6

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  1. “Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity.” - Cardinal Joseph Bernadin
  2. “Everybody In, Nobody Out!” - Physicians for a National Health Program
  3. "I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is that, unless you have a single-payer system - in which everybody is automatically covered, then you're probably not going to reach every single individual." - President Barack Obama, July 22, 2009
  4. How Many Die From Medical Mistakes in US Hospitals? An updated estimate says at least 210,000 patients die from medical mistakes in US hospitals a year. Marshall Allen, ProPublica, September 19, 2013
  5. "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  6. “The organization is committed to promoting availability of health services for all people and accepts the responsibility to function as a consumer advocate in health.” - Massachusetts Nurses Association bylaws