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Elections 2000 Handbook
for Health Care Justice Activists

This Handbook provides seven specific tools to help you raise the issue of universal health care with your candidates for Congress and seek specific commitments from them:

1. LETTER to Candidates
2. Leaders for Health Care Justice PLEDGE
3. QUESTIONS for Candidates
4. SIGN-ON Letter – from Faith Leaders
5. BULLETIN for Worship Services (coming soon)
6. Letter to the Editor/Op-Ed
7. POSTCARD Kit (PDF file)
8. Candidate Engagement REPORT Form (we need to hear from you!)

TARGETING CANDIDATES: The work you and others in your community do to urge candidates to be Leaders for Health Care Justice is very valuable. Contact the U2K office for information from the target list of races in your area developed by campaign staff. You are encouraged to research and acknowledge incumbent candidates’ records on health care and sources of the campaign funds. To email incumbents and access their websites go to <www.house.gov> or <www.senate.gov>. For additional research, to find out how to contact other candidates, and for other election information check out these websites:

<www.opensecrets.com>
<www.vote-smart.org>
<www.rollcall.com>
<www.voter.com>

ORGANIZING TIPS: The U2K Organizing Handbook and newsletter, Health Care Justice NOW, include many concrete organizing tactics and ideas from activists around the country.  Sign up for the U2K email listserve by emailing <uhcan@uhcan.org>.

LOCAL CONTACTS: U2K Campaign Coordinators are active in most states and their contact information is posted on the U2K website or available by calling the office. It can also be helpful to share organizing ideas and experiences with activists in other states – ask U2K Campaign staff for referrals.

The U2K Campaign is coordinating hundreds of activities nationwide during "Health Care Justice Week," October 13-22. A wide array of events and actions are planned this week to raise public awareness about health care injustice and to let our nation’s candidates for public office know it’s time for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL! For an up-to-date listing of activities, local contacts and more information go to the U2K website at <www.u2kcampaign.org> or call the U2K office: 216/902-5577.

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U2K Campaign
M
odel Letter to Candidates

[Title/Name]

Dear (Candidate),

I am writing to express my concern about our nation’s health care crisis and to ask you what steps you would be willing to take if elected to address these vital issues. I believe that our current struggles over Medicare prescription drugs and HMO reform are symptoms of a larger illness afflicting our country. Please take a moment to answer the following questions that will help me determine who I will vote for in the coming election.

1. Do you believe that everyone should have access to comprehensive, affordable, publicly accountable health care regardless of ability to pay?

2. If elected to the 107th Congress, will you make it a top priority to work for a national guarantee of health care for all?

3. Will you join the Universal Health Care Task Force* in Congress to draft, with your colleagues, principled and practical proposals for universal coverage in the first nine months of the 107th Congress?

It is time the United States heed its people who in poll after poll call for a health care system that includes everyone. It is time that our country joins the rest of the democratic industrialized world in assuring health care for all. I am involved in the Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign or U2K (<www.u2kcampaign.org>), a national grassroots campaign of 450 groups in 39 states working for a national guarantee of health care for all.

I hope that I can count on you to be a leader for Health Care Justice. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely Yours,

 

The Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force is a project of the Congressional Black Caucus’ Health Care Brain Trust with the participation of the Hispanic, Progressive, Asian-Pacific, Women, Children and Native American Caucuses. The task force is nonpartisan.

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U2K Campaign
Leader for Health Care Justice

Candidate Pledge

The current health care system is broken:

• Over 44 million Americans are uninsured and millions more are underinsured.

• The U.S. is the only industrialized nation without a national guarantee of health

• The recent World Health Organization report on health systems ranked the U.S. health system 37th in the world compared with other health systems based on what experts estimate could be accomplished with the resources available in the country, and only 55th in fairness.

The current health care system is unjust:

• Children, African-Americans, Hispanics and people with disabilities are disproportionately represented among the uninsured.

• Three out of five seniors do not have prescription drug coverage necessary for basic health and wellness. Many must choose between food and medicine.

• Patients who are injured by HMO bureaucrats who delay or deny care have little recourse.

The solution is to work for a health care system that is:

Accessible: Everyone has access to quality health care.

Comprehensive: A range of services can be accessed to combat illness and maintain health.

Affordable: Out-of-pocket expenses do not create barriers to needed care.

Publicly Accountable: Since public dollars are already the majority of health care dollars spent, appropriate oversight is needed.

Therefore, if elected to Congress, I pledge to become a Leader for Health Care Justice:

**I will make it a top priority to work for a national guarantee of health care for all.

**I will join the Universal Health Care Task Force* in Congress to draft, with my colleagues, principled and practical proposals for universal coverage.

**I believe everyone should have access to comprehensive, affordable and publicly accountable health care regardless of ability to pay.

**********

U2K Campaign
Leader for Health Care Justice
Candidate Questions

1. Do you believe that everyone should have access to comprehensive, affordable, publicly accountable health care regardless of ability to pay?

_____Yes _____No

2. If elected to the 107th Congress, will you make it a top priority to work for a national guarantee of health care for all?

_____Yes _____No

3. Will you join the Universal Health Care Task Force* in Congress to draft, with your colleagues, principled and practical proposals for universal coverage in the first nine months of the 107th Congress?

_____Yes _____No

 

 

*******

U2K Campaign
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

I believe that health care in this nation, the richest in the world, is a
national disgrace and a public scandal.  Almost 45 million people in this
country have no health care coverage; each month another 100,000 join the ranks of the uninsured.  Millions of working families are one paycheck away from losing their health care.  Racial disparities in our health care system are growing.  All of us suffer from a system where profit has replaced the "care" in health care.  Although current reform efforts, such as a Patients' Bill of Rights and adding a prescription drugs benefits to Medicare, are important, these efforts alone are not enough.

It is time the United States heed its people who in poll after poll call for a health care system that includes everyone.  It is time that our country joins the rest of the industrialized world in assuring health care for all.

I believe our state can take the lead.  I want elected leaders who will place the health of their constituents as a top priority - not the interests of the insurance and drug industries, which spent more than $500 million in lobbying and campaign contributions in the 1997-98 session of Congress alone.

So I am asking candidates for Congress where I live:

1) Do you believe that everyone should have access to comprehensive, affordable, publicly accountable health care, regardless of ability to pay?

2) If elected to the 107th U.S. Congress, will you make it a top priority to work for a national guarantee of health care for all Americans?

3) Will you join the Universal Health Care Task Force in Congress to draft,
with your colleagues, principled and practical proposals for universal
coverage in the first nine months of the 107th Congress?

I urge your readers to take this message to candidates for Congress (and
other levels of public office): "Do you believe that every American should
have a health care plan as good as Congress has?"  After all, we pay for it!


NOTE: The Congressional Universal Health Care Task Force is a project of the Congressional Black Caucus' Health Care Brain Trust with the participation of the Hispanic, Progressive, Asian-Pacific, Women, Children and Native American Caucuses.  The task force is nonpartisan. 

*******


U2K Campaign
Activities and Candidate Report Form

YES, we want to join hundreds of groups nationwide to let candidates for Congress - and other levels of public office - know it’s time for HEALTH CARE FOR ALL! In connection with "Health Care Justice Week," Oct. 13-22, 2000, here’s what we are planning:

__ Fundraising ( address check to U2K - see below)

__ Candidate Forums

__ Town Meetings and Public Hearings

__ Questions for Candidates at Public Appearances

__ Worship Services & Study Classes

__ Post Card & Letter-writing Campaigns

__ Delegations to Candidates

__ Public Demonstrations & Street Theater

__ Other _______________________________

Description of activity(ies) for listing on the U2K web site and in newsletter:

1.

2.

3.

(list more if applicable)

 

1) Candidate targeted:

District:
Commitment:
Address
City/State/Zip

2) Candidate targeted:

District:
Commitment:
Address
City/State/Zip

3) Candidate targeted:

District:
Commitment:
Address
City/State/Zip
Date submitted:

Org.
Contact Person
Address
City/State/Zip
Tel
Fax:
Email:

RETURN THIS FORM TO:

Universal Health Care 2000 Campaign
2800 Euclid Ave., Suite 520, Cleveland OH 44115-2418
Phone: 216/902-5577
Fax: 216/241-8423
Email: <uhcan@uhcan.org>
Website: <www.u2kcampaign.org>

 

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U2K Campaign
2800 Euclid Ave., Suite 520 Cleveland OH 44115-2418         
Tel: 216/902-5577  Fax: 216/241-8423

U2K questions: uhcan@uhcan.org                Website questions u2kwebmaster@loebigink.com