Community Activists and Legislator to Speak on Site about Health Care Crisis
CHICAGO—Remote Area Medical (RAM) will be in Chicago to serve the under- and uninsured citizens of Cook County and points beyond. Founded in 1985 to serve “desolate areas of the world,” RAM is a non-profit, volunteer group that delivers on-site health care, dental care, eye care, veterinary services, and technical and educational assistance to people—all free of charge. Their services are available from Friday through Sunday, August 19-21.
To augment the stellar work that RAM does, there will be a press conference comprising activists, legislators, doctors and nurses who are continuing fight for health care justice on the local and national level.
WHO: Aderonke Bamgbose, American Medical Students Association (AMSA); State Representative Mary E. Flowers (D), Sponsor of the single-payer bill HB 311, “The Health Care for All Illinois Act”; Dennis Kosuth, ER Nurse, Stroger Hospital and member of the National Nurses United (NNU); Jim Webster, MD, member of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP); Grassroots community activists from ChiSPAN and Illinois Single-Payer Coalition (ISPC)
WHAT: The health care crisis in the United States is deepening with over 50 million people uninsured and many millions more underinsured.
The last reliable data on uninsured rates in Illinois state it very clearly: There are at least 1.75 million uninsured people in the state. But these numbers are before the 2008 bubble burst. And because in the new economy, businesses are increasingly putting the burden of payment back on the workers, that number is very likely higher, possibly 2 million uninsured in the state.
Massive state cuts to the Medicaid Program have left hundreds of thousands without coverage and more cuts to the program are planned. Dr. David Ansell of PNHP and Rush University Medical Center, and author of the new book County: Life,Death and Politics at Chicago’s Public Hospital, says, “The presence of RAM in Chicago is emblematic of the failure of our health care system to take care of the most vulnerable individuals in our society. Each year in Chicago, 3200 black people die because they do not have the same health outcomes as whites. That’s more deaths than on 9/11 and much of it is because of the failings of our public health system. Only with a single-payer health care system, one that provides the same access to care to all Americans regardless of race or income can we begin to turn the tide on this injustice.”