Public policy sets the rules for all parts of the healthcare system, public and private. Policy is decided by lawmakers and government officials but is often developed and influenced by others. In order to hold power-holders accountable for passing policies that realize the right to healthcare, the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaigns engage in policy research, analysis and advocacy. By using human rights principles as guidance, campaigns can bring technical discussions back to people’s values, needs and experiences, enable members to talk with policymakers, avoid harmful compromises, inoculate against divide-and-conquer tactics, and map out policy pathways for systemic change.
Get the basics on rights-based policy advocacy for healthcare reform:
- Beyond Obamacare: In Many States, the Health Care Is a Human Right Movement Is Growing: This article explains why the Affordable Care Act fails to ensure the human right to health care and discusses how the HCHR campaigns are building a people’s movement to win publicly financed health care systems in their states to realize human rights.
- A Human Rights Approach to Health Care Reform – How Does the ACA Measure Up?: This presentation describes how the Affordable Care Act fails to meet key human rights principles and outlines steps health advocates can take to move beyond Obamacare.
- Frequently Asked Questions, Healthcare Is a Human Right: This fact sheet by HCHR-Maryland answers frequently asked questions about human rights, the human rights framework for healthcare reform and single payer. It contrasts publicly financed healthcare with market-based health insurance, explains the basics of the Affordable Care Act, and addresses issues relevant for labor unions.
Check out policy tools and lessons from the Healthcare Is a Human Right campaigns:
- Why Universal Health Care Is Essential for a More Equitable Society: This article explains why the current healthcare system is exacerbating inequality in our society and how public healthcare financing can help change this. It uses the equitable healthcare financing plan introduced by Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign to illustrate why healthcare is a matter of equality.
- Voices of Maryland’s Healthcare Crisis: This report from HCHR-MD and NESRI documents Maryland’s healthcare crisis and highlights the HCHR campaign. The report draws on HCHR-MD’s survey and the stories of several Maryland residents.
- The Policy Story of Vermont’s HCHR Campaign: This table illustrates the five stages of Vermont’s Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign from a policy perspective. It outlines which policy tools have been developed for which advocacy phase of the campaign with reference to the human rights framework.
- Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign Policy Positions Worksheet: This policy training tool helps Campaign members to better link their own healthcare stories to the Campaign’s collectively agreed policy positions, thus enabling members to communicate and advocate for policy positions in a more compelling and effective way.
- Vermont Workers’ Center People’s Toolkit 2010: This is a comprehensive guide to assist Healthcare Is a Human Right campaign members in answering common questions, applying the human rights principles, evaluating legislative proposals and advocating with legislators.
Find out more about policy issues in healthcare reform:
- Immigrants and the Human Right to Health Care: A Perspective on the Federal Health Reform Law: This issue brief explains how the Affordable Care Act impacts access to healthcare for immigrants. It concludes that the ACA fails to meet immigrant’s health needs and rights.
Human Rights-Based Financing of Universal Healthcare:
- Equitable Financing Plan for Green Mountain Care (2015): In this report, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign shows how public financing for universal healthcare can be achieved in Vermont by 2017. It presents detailed cost and revenue models that demonstrate it is not only possible, but financially and economically advantageous to implement a publicly financed healthcare system in Vermont.
- The Time Is Now! Equitable Healthcare Financing for Vermont, Explained in Under 3 Minutes!: This short video gives a concise explanation of the Vermont Campaign’s equitable financing plan for universal healthcare.
- Testimony at Vermont’s Joint Health Committee Hearing, January 29, 2015: This testimony calls for equitable healthcare financing and demands a democratic process for implementing universal healthcare in Vermont, following the Governor’s unilateral decision not to adopt a public financing plan.
- Toward Equitable Financing of Green Mountain Care: Proposal by the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign (2012): In this report, the Healthcare Is a Human Right Campaign sets out financing standards for universal healthcare and specifies a mix of equitable revenue sources for financing Vermont’s universal health care system.
- A Human Rights Assessment of Single Payer Plans: This report provides an in-depth human rights assessment of single payer health care proposals, along with a framework for assessing legislation. It compares single payer plans to the market-based insurance model and finds that a single payer approach is able to meet most human rights standards.
Human Rights-Based “Benefits” in a Universal Healthcare System:
- From Coverage to Care: Re-envisioning Our Healthcare System: This statement sets out the Vermont Campaign’s position on healthcare “benefits,” demanding a shift from a limited “benefits” model, which restricts access to care based on what is covered by an insurance plan, to a comprehensive model that guarantees access to all needed care.
- Human Rights Assessment Tool for Healthcare Benefits: This tool enables a human rights assessment of a healthcare benefits proposals, based on key human rights principles. It was developed for assessing the Green Mountain Care universal healthcare system planned in Vermont.
- Evidence for Adverse Health Effects of Out-of-Pocket Costs: This research brief summarizes evidence showing that all forms of out-of-pocket costs, or “cost-sharing,” harm people’s health by discouraging people from seeking necessary care and filling their medication prescriptions.