The Labor Party's
First Constitutional Convention
Whereas, at the founding convention Labor Party delegates demanded a guarantee of universal access to quality healthcare by adopting this as part of our Call for Economic Justice;
Whereas, Democrats and Republicans have responded to Americas healthcare crisis with ineffective or incremental legislation that represents band-aid solutions to a problem that calls out for a national health program guaranteeing cradle to grave health security as its core foundation with public oversight and planning;
Whereas, giant corporations dominate American healthcare and generate wealth by avoiding the sick and unprofitable through medically redlining targeted communities with hospital closures, abandoning insurance "markets" of Medicare seniors and engaging in practices which deny care and abandon patients at their neediest moments;
Whereas, public confidence in insurance giants, HMOs and hospital corporations has eroded due to abuses of patients, hospital shutdowns, interference in the decisions of healthcare professionals and poor care from understaffed hospitals and nursing homes;
Therefore be it resolved that our Labor Party undertake a healthcare campaign.
The purpose of our campaign will be to organize broad support for our Labor Party healthcare program through one-on-one contact, electoral ballot initiatives, workplace organizing, and a media visibility campaign using newspaper ads produced by the National Labor Party office.
The healthcare debate has historically suffered from a failure to speak with one voice calling for a system which guarantees everyone the same quality care. At various times both political parties and numerous healthcare advocacy groups have broken from this basic principle to support flawed or incremental approaches such as Clintons plan, Childrens Health Insurance Programs, Medicare expansion, or private insurance business reforms such as the Patients Bill of Rights" in the 1997-1998 Congress. Our Labor Party will speak with a single voice calling for the principles in our platform, using the same slogans and uniform materials.
The National Office will produce an activist handbook containing an analysis of the American healthcare crisis, our Labor Partys program, an explanation of how a National Health Program could be funded and organized to give us guaranteed quality care, common questions and answers, sample editorials, letters and speeches, and ideas for how to link local healthcare issues such as hospital closures or acquisitions by corporations with the Labor Party program for healthcare. A media briefing packet will be developed to assist local Labor Party bodies to perform outreach.
Our Labor Party will raise funds and identify supporters and activists with our campaign to form a "Committee of One Million" to call for a national solution built around the principles of our healthcare program. Petitions will be supplied to unions, chapters and individual members. Supporting unions and chapters will comply with fundraising reporting requirements but funds will be used to place local ads or support local visibility events including Just Healthcare public hearings.
The Interim National Council will set a national visibility day for the Just Healthcare campaign to maximize public exposure by simultaneous placement of print advertisement, editorial board meetings, letter campaigns and public events. This date will be set in consultation with unions and chapters in consideration of optimum timing and to secure commitment. To secure best media placement prices, the National Office will arrange for ad placement subject to local discretion and funds raised.
The Interim National Council will appoint a committee of single payer advocates representing policy experts, healthcare professionals and Labor Party activists to further develop our healthcare program with respect to funding, reimbursement of doctors and other professional caregivers and accessibility of services to ensure access regardless of socioeconomic status. The INC will evaluate and modify the advisory committee recommendations to ensure consistency with our program and the principle of equal treatment and fairness.
Our Labor Party invites other advocates to join this campaign and organize a Committee of One Million for Just Healthcare.
Our Labor Party will form alliances with others who subscribe to our principles for Just Healthcare. Our party remains open to supporting legislative proposals calling for a national solution to the American healthcare crisis consistent with our program principles. Our party will evaluate state single payer legislative and initiative campaigns with strategic opportunities to advance a national solution. Our approach will be to organize around a lasting solution. This will require discipline and systematic education and shaping public opinion. To this end the INC will evaluate the merit of specific proposals and render a democratic decision to participate in alliances or endorse other initiatives based on consistency with our principles.