Patrisse Cullors, Co Founder and Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, recently spoke at the relaunch event for the Medicare for All bill alongside national leaders like Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Rep. Pramila Jayapal about the intersection of racial and health justice.
Medicare for All is an important step toward creating a more equitable and fair system — so that whether you live in the suburbs in New Jersey or in a rural, small town in the South, you will be guaranteed quality, affordable health care. Whether you’re poor or rich has no impact on your access to care. Whether your employer provides excellent health care benefits, or doesn’t.
Black Lives Matter is so much more than putting an end to state-sanctioned violence and police brutality — but also about how systems like the inadequate health care system have negatively impacted our communities. And though the coronavirus pandemic has shined a bright light on the racial inequities that exist within the health care system, the pandemic of systemic racism has long thrived here. Racism continues to be a public health crisis.
Medicare for All is an essential first step in preventing the needless suffering and pain that Black people, especially Black women, face in the health sphere.
Let’s be clear — passing Medicare for All is a racial justice issue.
Black people are impacted the most by health care inadequacies in the United States. Whether you’re looking at the mortality and morbidity rates of Black mothers, the high rates of Black people dying from COVID-19, and the disproportionately Black population in American prisons — where access to adequate health care is a huge issue — the time has never been more urgent to pass Medicare For All and take bold action to create the conditions for Black people to thrive.
Every single institution that currently exists that is led by local, state, and national government is predicated upon anti-Black racism in particular — and it’s the same reason why these exact institutions are profit-driven.
Profit-driven health care systems have no place in society, and they have never existed to serve Black people — only to exploit us.
The current health care system has not prioritized Black bodies, but has exploited them. But not any longer. Please sign the petition demanding Congress pass Medicare for All.