A coalition in Maine – the Maine People’s Alliance, the Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Nurses Association – held press conferences in Portland and Bangor to kick off their new Health Care Is a Human Right Campaign.
From the press release:
Mainers without health coverage and others who have been failed by Maine’s health care system joined representatives from community, labor and health care organizations at press conferences in both Portland and Bangor today to help launch a new grassroots campaign that will work towards a health care system based on the recognition that health care is a human right.
“45,000 people in America die every year due to a lack of care. 44% of employers in Maine don’t offer health coverage. We spend 2.5 times as much as the developed world for our health care system, for worse outcomes, and health care expenses are the leading cause of bankruptcy in Maine and America,” said Maine People’s Alliance health care organizer Jennie Pirkl. “For all the improvements of the Affordable Care Act, we still have a broken system where too many people are being left behind. We can’t continue like this, and we can’t continue to let the for-profit insurance industry control so much of our government. We must recognize health care as a human right and organize to make things better.”
Participants in the press conference shared their experiences with our broken health care system and helped launch the Maine Health Care is a Human Right campaign. The goal is to allow all Maine people have access to high quality care and to have more of a voice in how the health care system is run. […]
The campaign, organized by a coalition including the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Nurses Association, will focus on grassroots outreach and work towards a healthcare system that follows the basic human rights principles of universality, equity, participation, accountability, and transparency.
More information on the campaign can be found here.
From the media coverage:
Bangor Daily News, May 8, 2013
PORTLAND, Maine — Several Maine advocacy groups joined forces Thursday to launch a new grass-roots campaign for universal health insurance coverage.
At press conferences in Portland and Bangor, the coalition urged Mainers to work toward a new health care system that recognizes treatment for illness and disease as a human right. Represented organizations included the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine AFL-CIO and the Maine State Nurses Association.
About 45,000 Americans die every year due to a lack of health care, while 44 percent of Maine employers don’t offer health coverage, said Jennie Pirkl of the Maine People’s Alliance.
“For all the improvements of the Affordable Care Act, we still have a broken system where too many people are being left behind,” she said. “We can’t continue like this, and we can’t continue to let the for-profit insurance industry control so much of our government. We must recognize health care as a human right and organize to make things better.”
The coalition did not present a plan for achieving universal insurance coverage, but said their goal was to ensure that all Maine people have access to high-quality care and a greater voice in how the health care system is run.
Marie Pineo of Falmouth said she worries about her financial stability after her MaineCare coverage ceases in May following eligibility changes approved during the most recent legislative session.
“I have a heart condition that does not allow me to work full-time hours, which means I cannot hope to get lucky by finding one of the few jobs that offers health insurance,” she said. “We are scared and stressed, which only leads to more health problems. Health care is a human right; it is a matter of life and death, and we can’t afford to deny care anymore.”
WABI, Mary 9, 2013
Bangor – Members of multiple agencies, including the Maine State Nurses Association and the Maine People’s Alliance, announced a statewide people’s movement addressing what they believe is a lack of health care in Maine.
“We’ve got folks all over the state who ate currently going out and talking to people about this. It’s going to be out in the field, we’re not expecting to, you know, take a bill to the state house anytime soon, we’re really building a broader movement, so we’re going out and surveying thousands of Mainers one their health care experience to kind of identify what the problem is and identify what people want to see on a solution,” said Sarah Bigney, spokesperson for Maine AFL-CIO.
Fox 22, May 9, 2013
BANGOR – Members of the Maine State Nurses Association are hoping a new campaign will bring awareness to what they believe is a growing issue.
Their ‘Health Care is a Human Right’ campaign has officially kicked off.
It’s a grass roots effort, and they’re hoping to educate Mainers around the state about universal health care.
They believe it to be the best solution to making sure everyone is covered at an affordable price.
“We’re going to build a people’s movement and go out and talk to thousands of Mainers who are being denied their human right to health care and get them involved in this effort.” Says Sarah Bigney, of the AFL-CIO.
The movement has nurses working state wide. Organizers hope to gain strong participation in every county.