Healthcare for the 99%, an Occupy Wall Street working group, is an open and evolving group of community members, health activists, and health workers.
We occupy Wall Street because Wall Street is occupying healthcare. Wall Street and corporate executives — rather than health professionals — run the U.S. healthcare industry. The profiteering of private hospitals, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies is literally killing and impoverishing Americans every day. America’s system of for-profit, job-based healthcare is a threat to our human rights and economic stability both as individuals and as a country. We believe the work of dismantling Wall Street’s stranglehold over our economic and political system can begin by freeing our healthcare system from their control.
Social and economic inequality are incompatible with health and wellbeing. We are proud to stand with Occupy Wall Street and the larger movement for social and economic justice. It is not possible to have a healthy society without addressing other basic social and economic needs, including the right to housing, healthy food, a clean environment, comprehensive education, a living wage, and nonviolence.
We believe that healthcare is a human right, not a commodity or a luxury for those who can afford it. We should not have to plan our lives and jobs around how to pay for essential care. It is the duty of our healthcare system to serve patients, not corporations or executives. We are privately insured patients, under-insured patients, uninsured patients, VA patients, Medicaid patients, and Medicare patients. Together, we are a united front committed to changing the way our system segregates us into these separate and unequal classes of patients forced to compete for care. Our stance is based on overwhelming evidence from around the world that it is possible to have better healthcare for much less than we currently spend by treating it as a universal public good, free from profit and barriers to access.
Therefore, we advocate replacing our unequal patchwork of public programs and private job-based health insurance with a universal publicly-funded system that guarantees affordable, comprehensive, high-quality healthcare for all. Everybody in, nobody out!
To this end, we work together in solidarity to:
- SUPPORT the OWS Medic and Medical Support teams with health professionals and supplies
- EDUCATE using teach-ins, town-hall meetings, canvassing, rallies, and marches to raise awareness of the root causes of health injustice and the fight for real solutions
- AMPLIFY the voices of patients and community groups, who have been largely shut out of mainstream policy debates on “healthcare reform”
- AGITATE for real solutions to these problems at the local, state, and national level including a single-payer system and additional necessary health reforms to bring about health justice for all regardless of financial status, race, gender, gender identity, sexuality, immigration status, disability, or any other factor