AARP Northside Community Group will observe Women’s History Month 2021 by proudly presenting Dr. Anne Scheetz, an author, physician and founding member of the Illinois Single-Payer Coalition as the speaker at our March 2, Zoom meeting. In this post Dr. Scheetz shares some basic ideas of what makes a good healthcare system and some of her own work.
A single-payer health program, also known as national improved Medicare for all, is the only proposed reform of the US healthcare system that can guarantee access to all necessary health care for every person living in the US, with no financial barriers or burdens, and with free choice of providers. It is the only proposed reform that can address the serious racial inequities in health and health care that shame us as a country. It is the only reform that can raise millions of people out of poverty by eliminating all out-of-pocket medical expenses. It is the only reform that puts people over profits. It is the only reform that treats health care as a human right.
The enemies of single-payer health care are powerful and wealthy: health insurance companies, the pharmaceutical industry, investor-owned for-profit hospitals and nursing homes and dialysis centers, hedge fund operators that invest for profit in mental health and addiction treatment, among others. In order to win against these powerful enemies, we must work together across many lines.
Some of my own work involves organizing with disability rights activists toward home-and-community-based long-term care services under national improved Medicare for all; supporting the struggles for justice of organized labor; and joining with groups fighting for Chicago’s public mental health clinics, for the U of C trauma center, and for Mercy Hospital as it is threatened with closure. We work together through one-on-one meetings, petitions, talks to groups, social media campaigns, and public actions, among other means. We recognize that we are in a long difficult struggle and we will continue, however long it takes, until we win.
Come March 2, listen to Dr. Scheetz and get involved by sharing your own experience and thoughts around healthcare and the important contributions women have made and continue to make in bringing justice and hope to all.