Midwives for Universal Health Care: Now Is the Time to Get Involved

New ACNM Connect group is advocating for health care reform and needs your help.

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Advocating for Universal Health Care.

New ACNM Connect group is advocating for health care reform and needs your help.

For years, a solid base of activists comprised largely of physicians and nurses has championed the radical notion of a single-payer health care model in the United States. Until recently, their ideology has been viewed as idealistic and unattainable. However, the times they are a changing. A recent study conducted by the University of Massachusetts1 found that 70% of American residents – including Democrats and Republicans – favor a single-payer health care system.

Our health care system is too expensive and not efficient. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website, the United States now spends a total of 17.9% of its GDP on health care, yet health care in the U.S. costs at least twice as much as in other countries with analogous wealth and we have worse outcomes Most countries that have better outcomes than we do utilize midwifery at a higher rate. It is time for midwives to increase our visibility and collectively organize for health care reform in the United States.

At the 2018 ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition, a motion was made to improve ACNM’s existing position statement on Healthcare for All Women and Families, as well as to educate midwives on the issue. In response, a group was formed on ACNM Connect called Midwives for Universal Healthcare (MUH). Our mission is to create awareness about the need for health care reform for all U.S. residents by providing resources on education, advocacy, and community engagement.

MUH has been quite active. We have regular, open meetings and post the minutes on ACNM Connect along with articles of interest. In addition, we are proposing to form a caucus within the ACNM to strengthen our cause. We understand that most ACNM members are not policy experts, but many are activists. So, we are creating a toolkit to help midwives navigate health care reform issues on state and national levels.

Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • The Medicare for All Act of 2019 was introduced on February 27, 2019, by Representatives Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Debbie Dingel (D-MI). Already, the bill has more than 100 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, but we need even more support. Find out where your representatives stand on the issue.
  • Join a single-payer group in your community. Check out the list of grassroots organizing efforts in more than 35 states.
  • Organize members in your affiliate to create awareness about the need for midwives to be more involved in health care reform efforts.
  • Join MUH on ACNM Connect and participate in the meetings, or just stay involved online.

We welcome you to reach out to MUH with any questions you have. We call all midwives to action, and we are here to support you in the process.


References:

1Pollin, R., et al. Economic Analysis of Medicare for All, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA November 2018  ( this is a pdf,

Mossialos, E., et al. 2015 International Profiles of Health Care Systems. January 2016(https://www.commonwealthfund.org/sites/default/files/documents/___media_files_publications_fund_report_2016_jan_1857_mossialos_intl_profiles_2015_v7.pdf)

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