Health Care is a Right, Not a Privilege
The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) places full access to quality, affordable health care and the importance of health education for working women front and center to our work.
This was made abundantly clear last month during our 16th Biennial Convention when our delegates overwhelming passed several resolutions which included in part:
- CLUW is committed to keeping all benefits and protections for women included in the Affordable Care Act. CLUW will continue to vigorously fight any proposed cuts to women’s health care,
- CLUW will advocate for legislation and worker contract benefits to assure that women have access to all FDA approved birth control methods as part of preventive care without co-pays
- CLUW will advocate for implementation of improved mental health services as required in the 2010 health reform law and for parity for mental health treatment coverage as a basic health right.
- CLUW will continue its efforts to educate its members – male and female – about the risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease and promote physical activity, healthy eating, credible information and self-empowerment practices to help improve the health of its members and communities.
CLUW prides itself on being the voice for women’s health care education in the labor movement. We have done this through education projects on HIV/AIDS and Cervical Cancer Prevention as well as Reproductive Rights and Contraceptive Equity. Our chapters are involved in many activities at the local level, supporting heart health and breast cancer awareness for example; they sponsor health fairs and walks to raise awareness and funding for various diseases and provide education on healthy living. We recognizes the major role women play as gatekeepers of health care, scheduling health appointments and making sure that preventative care and treatment is provided to family members.
We played a very active role in educating our members and lobbying Congress about the Health Reform Law and our National Executive Board members were meeting with their Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill just days before the historic passage of the law occurred last year.
We are grateful that the law will make health care a reality to so many Americans who had no coverage or inadequate coverage or who had to choose between putting a meal on the table or visiting the doctor sometimes for life threatening illness.
CLUW’s members comprise employed union members as well as retirees, students and supporters outside of the labor movement and therefore we know that our members face the health care crisis in different ways.
We know that due to the result of hard won collective bargaining battles most union members have health coverage of which they can be proud, yet it is increasingly at risk of being diminished during current negotiation struggles in this economic climate.
We also know that the health care crisis in this country affects us all regardless of what benefits we currently have through collective bargaining. Furthermore, CLUW has always advocated on behalf of women in the broader community: As our motto states, “An Injury to One Is an Injury to All.”
We are pleased to celebrate those provisions in the new law such as:
• All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without
charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.
• Young adults are allowed to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26 years old
• Insurance companies are prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays.
• Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing
After such a hard fought victory in such a politically charged climate, we will not accept any steps back and will resist in every way attempts to decimate any part of the new Health Reform Law.
Women fought for it, we won it and we will not tolerate giving it up. Our health and lives depend on it!!
This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.