Resolution on Universal Health Care
[Although the statistics in this resolution are dated, the resolution itself represents the current position of Church Women United as they continue to work for health care for all.]
Whereas Church Women United has long stressed the right of each individual to adequate and affordable health care;
Whereas Church Women United has adopted previous policies supporting a national health care plan which grants universal access to health care benefits ("Better Health -- Social Goal," 1946; The People's Platform, 1976; Policy on Aging, 1983; and Policy Statement of the Rights of Children and Youth, 1985);
Whereas the current health care system is in a state of crisis: 37 million Americans do not have health insurance, up to 70 million people have inadequate health insurance plans; Medicare fails to cover many necessary costs, Medicaid's eligibility and coverage restrictions prevent it from meeting its goal of protecting the poor;
Whereas the system of health care delivery in the U.S. is inherently inequitable: 33 per cent of the Hispanic aged population live without health insurance compared to 11 per cent of the general population; only 7 in 10 women received prenatal care in 1985 that could be considered even minimally adequate; 38 per cent of black women do not receive care during the first three months of pregnancy; and the 25 per cent of all Americans who live in rural communities have access to only 14 per cent of all physicians, 9 percent of all nurse practitioners, and 19 per cent of all nurses;
Whereas annual expenditures on health care in the U.S. are spiraling our of control with expenditures more than doubling between 1980 and 1988 and predictions for the year 2000 reaching $5,551 per person as opposed to $1,837 in 1986;
Whereas billions of dollars are wasted each year on "Unnecessary administrative costs," including billing, record keeping, advertising, and marketing;
Whereas insurance companies currently cover only 74 percent of the cost of physician services, 39 per cent of dental costs, and 25 per cent of prescription drug bills and frequently deny individuals any coverage for "pre-existing" conditions;
Therefore, be it resolved that Church Women United advocate for the enactment of a national health care plan which serves everyone living in the United States, regardless of race, income, gender, geography (rural or urban), age, disability, health status, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, or legal status. Church Women United supports the inclusion of the following benefits:
Be it further resolved that Church Women United will advocate a plan that is administered in a more efficient and less costly manner, with the participation of consumers, health professionals, and government. The national health care plan should draw its financial support from the broadest possible resource base. Financial support should be progressive and based on one's ability to pay.
Be it further resolved that the Executive Council of Church Women United call upon its members to participate in and/or sponsor public awareness programs to educate themselves and others on the current problems in our health care system and the need for a national health care plan.