Campaign Name: Fund Healthcare Not Warfare
Working Group Name: Fund Healthcare Not Warfare
The Fund Healthcare not Warfare Campaign developed in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, as an effort to forge alliances with health care workers impacted by the pandemic. These groups included nurses, public health workers, and home care workers represented by 1199 SEIU. We benefited from participation of experienced members of Partner organizations including MassCARE (Sandy Eaton), Physicians for a National Health Plan (Dr. Alan Meyers). Boston DSA (Louise Parker), Women’s Health Institute (Catherine DeLorey), and Veterans for Peace (Bonnie Gorman), together with MAPA members Susan Mirsky, Rosemary Kean, Jonathan King and Amar Ahmad. Our analysis focused not on the damage of a future nuclear war, but on the immediate loss of lives and health due to failure to invest in healthcare, in order to finance the bloated Pentagon Budget.
After communication with the above groups we identified State Budget and Federal Budget priorities, and asked organizations to sign on to a joint letter.
The initial effort was educational through a series of webinars, with participation from leaders of key healthcare organizations and constituencies. We expect to continue this mode through 2022, with upcoming sessions on vaccine equity and mental health. An action focus for 2022 is the 150th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association scheduled for November in Boston. Our American Public Health Association (APHA) subcommittee has proposed a major Fund Healthcare not Warfare Symposium for the meeting. Such an event could engage sympathetic APHA members from other states and also anchor other local related activities.
We are also in the process of reaching out to Peace Action Affiliates in Maryland, Staten Island (NY) and Chicago, hoping to catalyze formation of FHCNW committees in those states, which would reach out to their state public health and nurses associations.
A small grant proposal was submitted to RESIST with help of MAPA interns, and $1500 received to support the above activities.
Long Range Policy Goal: Pass Medicare for All, cut the pentagon budget, increase the NIH budget.
Achievable Objectives for 2022:
- Run program(s) at the APHA conference in Boston.
- Increasing collaboration with partner groups such as 1199, Nurses’ unions, public health groups, etc, such as further joint webinars and more.
- Continuing educational programming including webinar programs and written articles.
- State legislative advocacy – working with partner organizations to develop joint legislative fall agenda, such as Medicare-for-all, housing, etc.
- Federal legislative advocacy – working with partner organizations to develop joint legislative fall agenda, such as Medicare-for-all, Covid relief, etc.
- Developing promotional materials including a brochure, an ad, and more.
Activities planned in 2022 to further policy goals: Please see above.
Coalition work: strengthening ties with the Poor People’s Campaign, Nurses Unions, public health experts, reaching out to other health professionals (mental health providers, social workers, physical therapists, etc), vaccine groups, healthcare reform groups such as PNHP, Mass-Care, DSA, OR, Indivisible, PDA, etc., educators unions such as MTA, BTU, etc.
We plan to host a 2022 forum or conference to invite groups listed above to participate.
Co-Conveners: Jonathan King, Amar Ahmad