Plank One:Medicare for All is an Anti-Racist Demand
Positioning Medicare for All as an Anti-Racist Demand
The COVID-19 pandemic is disproportionately killing communities of color. State-sanctioned violence, socio-economic and environmental factors, along with co-morbidities rooted in the for-profit healthcare system, account for the disproportionate deaths from COVID-19 among people of color. Medicare for All and the Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act are the best policy tools to address racial health disparities.
We must create a system of guaranteed healthcare during the pandemic, which covers everyone for out of pocket expenses and all costs for the uninsured, through adoption of the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act, and for the long-term through improved Medicare for All. Only by eliminating profit from healthcare will we ensure healthcare providers and facilities exist in communities of color. Only through a publicly financed and administered system will we be able to prioritize public health, early intervention and prevention, and provide free vaccines. Only if we break the link between employment and health insurance, and eliminate all costs at the point of service, covering all residents regardless of immigration status with comprehensive benefits, can we equitably provide healthcare to all.
Medicare for All provides the model for a society based on solidarity and caregiving, which re-directs resources and establishes healthcare and housing as public goods. Food insecurity, environmental racism, mass incarceration and police violence, and the violence of mass detention of immigrants, must be addressed as a public health crisis. We must create a culturally competent healthcare system that listens to and honors the experience of Black and brown patients. Achieving Medicare for All can lay the foundation and create a system to do that. We urge Congress to pass the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act as the first step.