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Fundamental Human Right to Quality Healthcare

WHEREAS, America is founded on the principles of justice, fairness, equal opportunity under the law, freedom and individual rights; and

WHEREAS, some of these rights are written into the Bill of Rights, such as the right to full citizenship to African-Americans who were enslaved, the right to vote, the right of children not to work, the right of children to receive a public school education, made possible through amendments to the Constitution; and

WHEREAS, these rights were fought for piecemeal, sometimes town by town or region by region, sometimes state by state, through organized protest, media, public campaigns, lobbying, marching, rallying and by law suits, until legislation was finally passed so that these rights could be legally enforced; and

WHEREAS, there would have been no progress toward equal rights for the vulnerable, social and ethnic, minorities and women in the United States without a combination of legislation, mass organization and demonstration to demand its implementation, or force the laws to implement change; and

WHEREAS, still in America minorities, people of color, the poor, the uninsured, people with disabilities and many senior citizens are sitting in the back of the health care system bus, even when many of the fronts seats are empty; and

WHEREAS, one-third of Hispanic Americans and nearly one in four African-Americans are among the over 43 million Americans with no health insurance and consequently receive inadequate medical care, sometimes in a life or death situation or none at all; and

WHEREAS, the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO) proclaims that the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is a fundamental right of every human being. Except for the United States, all other advance nations are in compliance with the WHO's proclamation and have established a right to quality health care for all its citizens; and

WHEREAS, racial separation in the United States has resulted in unequal access to quality health care and has demonstrated that racial bias in medicine can and does exist; and

WHEREAS, in a nation such as ours, founded on fairness and social justice, it is unacceptable that African-Americans with the same health insurance as whites are provided less medical care; and

WHEREAS, civil rights have never been handed to us. We have to demand them. As it was with segregation and with the evils of Jim Crow, we have to organize in protest against second rate and third-rate health care in an affluent nation such as America, because a decent standard of health care is necessary for our individual human dignity and well-being. As Americans we have the right to dignity, well-being and for an adequate standard of health; and

WHEREAS, it cost Americans more to sustain the current unfair and unequal healthcare system that leaves out many and provides unequal healthcare too many that are uninsured. Profits, not patients are the bottom line; and

WHEREAS, if all Americans had a standard basic coverage, most independent economic studies say it would save millions of health care dollars each year and the bloated insurance company profits would be channeled into direct patient care; and

WHEREAS, we refuse to sit in the back of the bus of the health care system bus any longer… we must demand a decent quality of health care regardless of our race, economic status, age or gender. The reverse of which is simply an abuse of our civil rights. We must take action now to demand a health care system that provides universal access to quality health care.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP join with Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and NABP in support of H.R. 676, the US National Health Institute Act, introduced by Congressman John Conyers, Detroit Michigan.