The First Step to Solve America's Health Care Crisis
What will it take for the United States to establish a health care system that provides comprehensive, quality and affordable health care to all? Using the American political decision-making system of elections and legislation, the American people have to declare they must have universal, comprehensive, quality care. The U2K Campaign is a call to make the need for universal health care a central part of the 2000 elections and to use the 2000 elections to move America towards achieving universal health care.
This Campaign allows hundreds of organizations and tens of thousands of advocates to join hands to influence the thinking of candidates and opinion leaders about the need for universal health care. It encourages delegations of diverse constituencies - faith communities, labor, the health care community, patient advocacy groups, supporters of justice - to call on candidates. The opponents of fundamental health care reform have great wealth, which they use to influence American politics. A serious universal health care campaign demands the unity of the broadest spectrum of advocates. We encourage organizations that agree with this approach to endorse the U2K Campaign Pledge and join the campaign. The goal of the U2K Campaign is to bring about, through a democratic process, a national guarantee of comprehensive, accessible, quality, affordable and publicly accountable health care for all.
The U2K Campaign, Because America's Health Care System Is Not Working America's health care costs too much, covers too little, and excludes too many. Over the last ten years, America's health care crisis has deepened. The number of uninsured has risen to nearly one-sixth of the population, over 44 million people. For tens of millions more, needed care is unaffordable or unavailable. The restrictions of managed care are increasingly distressing health care professionals and the general public. Health care spending is once again rising rapidly. Even Medicare, America's most important and most successful health insurance program, is being threatened.
The U2K Campaign, Because 2000 Can Be a Time for Big Political Decisions Since the demise of national health reform in 1994, politicians have taken up only piecemeal reform measures. Most candidates are still timidly proposing more of the same in the early stages of the 2000 campaign, refusing to deal with the basic problems of the health care system. While politicians remain cautious, organizations that represent tens of millions of Americans are taking strong public stands about the need to tackle universal health care. The Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign focuses this growing sentiment on the 2000 elections as the logical place to start a multi-year campaign.
A strong U2K campaign will:
What is the "U" in
We believe that:
We commit our organizations to:
The U2K Campaign and Other Reform Activities:
By creating a coordinated national campaign focused on the central failure of the health care system, the U2K campaign can provide a broad context and create momentum to energize other activities that promote health care justice.
Endorsing organizations are invited to engage in the campaign at one of three different levels: EDUCATOR The organization commits to educate its members about America's health care crisis and the need for universal health care. The group also agrees to respond to requests to engage candidates on the issue.
The organization commits to educate and organize its members to reach out to other groups in which they participate for endorsements and education. The group also agrees to cooperate with other local networking organizations to plan engagement with candidates on the issue and to commit time and energy to the U2K Campaign.
The organization commits to educate within its ranks, reach out to other groups and plan engagements in cooperation with others. It also commits paid staff time, volunteer time and/or major donations to the U2K Campaign. Leaders participate in state-level strategic thinking about priorities for the Campaign and are eligible to participate on the National Steering Committee of the Campaign.
The Campaign Handbook includes materials on how to seek additional endorsements; how to interact with candidates; how to deal with safe seats of potential supporters, uncontested seats of likely supporters and hot races; how to obtain publicity. The Education Handbook includes an overview of American health care at the end of the twentieth century; data on the health crisis in the U.S.; special interest money and the American political system; positions of major organizations on universal health care; other current health policy issues and how they relate to universal health care; possible solutions to America's health care crisis. Organizations that endorse the U2K Campaign will receive copies of these handbooks by mail, which can be copied for local distribution. For the full text of these handbooks and further information on endorsement go to the U2K website: http://www.u2kcampaign.org