(January 16, 2018)
UHCAN believes the more each part of our big, complex Health Care Justice movement knows about what other parts are doing, the stronger all of us are. That’s why we host our monthly conference calls.
A few years ago we felt the need to go one step further. Health care is not the only issue. Hearing about struggles around voting rights, immigration, Black Lives Matter, labor rights, reproductive justice, just to name a few, makes us all more effective activists. Every UHCAN call has speakers whose main focus is not health care.
Which brings us to 2018, and especially the intersection between all our justice struggles and US politics. This will be the hottest mid-term election in several decades. What would you expect in this super-charged political climate?
Throughout our 25+ years, UHCAN has understood that committed health justice advocates always come to every health care issue from many different perspectives. How to get to universal health care; standing up to insurance companies and Big Pharma; the importance of addressing racial disparities in medicine; the fight for Medicaid expansion and against cuts; you name it, there are so many different perspectives and priorities within our movement. That’s why we focus so much on striving for unity. People may be tired of hearing UHCAN say that unity is not the default setting. But you either purposefully work for unity or it does not happen.
We think that same UHCAN thinking applies to 2018. People and groups in all the different parts of our movement are not going to approach 2018 politics from the same place. How could they? All of us want to build the fight for Health Care Justice – Quality Health Care For All. All of us want to come out of this year stronger for 2020 and beyond. And we have lots of different ideas on the best way to go. So, 2018 is going to be a year of conversations, discussions and even passionate arguments. Maintaining the strongest possible level of unity will be a big challenge.
The 2018 political context will impact all health justice advocates and everybody else in every group or coalition we work with. That’s out of our control. But we can affect whether the impact is positive or negative. The Health Care Justice movement will come out of 2018 much stronger if we all put building unity on our collective to-do list.