The Big Picture – Executive Director’s View

The way to get to universal health care is called a movement. Amendment 69 showed the possibility that state-based plans could achieve universal health care one state at a time. The Affordable Care Act put two things front and center: That everyone should have access to health care, and the problems of excessive cost and complexity.

The study of social movements shows that it takes a major event like placing Amendment 69 on the ballot to bring the issue to public awareness. Our email list grew from 3,500 to 60,000, and 569,000 Coloradans voted for it. The people who supported Amendment 69 got it — universal health care is the most economical and simplest way to finance comprehensive, accessible health care.

The public is increasingly understanding that the current insurance system violates our values, that a universal health care system is possible, and that it is the best way forward. We need to use this increased awareness to build majority public support for universal health care.

The Foundation’s efforts, actions, strategies, and communications will be directed toward using increased public awareness to achieve our mission: Guaranteed quality health care for all for life. Some strategies will be straightforward education and actions. Other times we will capitalize on current events and use other tactics to draw attention to the movement, decrease barriers to universal health care, and build alliances.

One such strategy is the campaign to legalize importing medications from Canadian pharmacies. This campaign establishes that the people can stand up to corporate control of the health care system; addresses the rigged pharmaceutical pricing, which is controlled in Washington and beyond the power of state-based universal health care systems; and has great potential for developing alliances.

Another strategy is resistance to legislation that rolls back the benefits provided by Medicaid, Medicare, and the ACA. Keeping these benefits makes the leap to universal health care smaller, gives us a platform to talk about universal health care, and helps build alliances.

I will write a column in each newsletter with an overview of how our strategy and work is progressing, and appreciating all of the people who have joined the movement and made the progress possible.

With appreciation, Ivan

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