In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicaid and Medicare into law.
At the signing ceremony, he spoke of the tradition of leadership that compelled the country to create such programs. He also spoke of another tradition, one embedded in our national identity and values. He said this value “calls upon us never to be indifferent toward despair. It commands us never to turn away from helplessness. It directs us never to ignore or to spurn those who suffer untended in a land that is bursting with abundance.”
Unfortunately, the recent actions of many Members of Congress fly in the face of this tradition. Continue reading
Nearly a year after the passage of health care reform, the Alliance for a Just Society convened members of its Health Rights Organizing Project, a national collaboration of grassroots community organizations working on health care, to reflect on that victory and to develop next steps in the long march towards an equitable health care system. This was the first face-to-face meeting of the coalition since health reform was made law in March 2010. Continue reading
From defending treaty obligations such as water rights and access to basic health care, to fighting institutional racism in schools and state legislation, to fighting the effects of colonialism in our food systems that are literally killing Indian people, there is no shortage of work to be done in Indian Country.
Across Indian Country, Native people are dealing with amagnitude of issues that affect day-to-day life. While it may be easy to find social service programs that slow the weeping wounds of daily life, one is pressed to find community organizing efforts that address the systemic change that is so desperately needed in these communities. Continue reading
On Monday, January 31st, a second federal court ruled against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A Florida judge opined that the individual responsibility provision was unconstitutional and therefore made the entire Act invalid. The White House and reform supporters were quick to point out that two other courts and numerous judicial scholars hold a contrary opinion. Nevertheless, the ruling, even if eventually reversed, will give added hope to the Tea Baggers and other opponents of reform. Health care advocates must continue to stand by the ACA because it is the law of the land. Continue reading
During the week of December 6, organizations throughout the country hung banners with the message “Language = Life: Language in Health Care is a Human Right.” They sent a clear message to the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services that language access is right, not a privilege. Continue reading