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UUJEC Issues & Actions Blog

Healthcare Justice is a UU Value

Feb 28 2017

Why Healthcare? 

Repeal of the ACA and affordable access to healthcare will put many low income Americans at risk and make healthcare for middle income Americans much less affordable. Our Reversing Inequality Conference will focus on access to healthcare as an economic justice issue. We regard the Trump administration attack on affordable health care as a contradiction to our core UU values that we must defend.

Weakening healthcare access and affordability magnifies economic inequality and discriminates against disenfranchised and marginalized communities. The expansion of Medicaid provides coverage for roughly 13 million low-income adults, with close to a third of those covered afflicted with a mental disorder or a substance addiction. The healthcare safety net many families rely on ensures a sickness won’t result in bankruptcy and parents won’t have to choose between a doctor’s visit for a sick child or paying the rent. For many people, an illness or injury left untreated due to costs can result in a job loss which in turn could lead to family disruption, homelessness and economic ruin.

The attack on the Affordable Care Act -- if successful -- will shred the social safety net for millions of people and will endanger their economic well-being as well as their health care. There's so much at stake we cannot remain silent in our efforts to seek economic and social justice." Affordable Care Act provisions in danger of elimination protect a wide range of people:

  • People with a history of cancer, diabetes and other illnesses cannot be denied coverage due to a preexisting condition.
  • Lifetime caps have been eliminated to ensure the sickest among us are not turned away from coverage because their care costs too much.   
  • Young people, beginning adulthood with little money and big dreams can remain on their parents plans until they reach 26.
  • Women have access to no-cost contraception and preventive services, allowing women of all income levels to control when or if they have a child.   
  • Mental health and substance use disorders, often stigmatized and left untreated, receive the same level of coverage as physical illnesses.
  • Healthcare subsidies provided for low-income people have resulted in a dramatic increase of insured working families and people of color, making care more equitable for everyone.
  • Anti-discrimination language prevents providers from discriminating against the LGBTQ community, allowing same-sex families to benefit from joint coverage. 

Losing care puts the prosperity of our families and our neighbors at risk but it also raises a question about our own conscience.  Can we take a back seat in this crises? For UUJEC and UUSJ, we recognize the inherent worth and dignity of every person and as advocates for economic justice, we cannot allow the healthcare debate to continue on without us. As  This is as much of an economic issue as it is a health issue. The ability to attend to one’s well-being is fully connected to the ability to access and afford it.  

Twenty million Americans may lose their ability to receive care if the Trump Administration follows through on its promise to repeal the ACA. Connect with us to share our UU values for healthcare justice. 


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