Healthcare and Reproductive Justice

As socialists, we affirm the idea that healthcare is a human right. We demand a health-care system that is decommodified. A universal single-payer system that prioritizes the health of working-class Americans over the profits of insurance companies and their billionaire executives can guarantee this right to every New Yorker and is an important step towards the establishment of a socialized healthcare system. We demand healthcare that is universal, comprehensive, free at the point of service, and not tied to one's employment status. We recognize that healthcare is intrinsically tied to the struggle for housing, educational and environmental justice, amongst others, and that accessibility is key to guaranteeing racial justice in our healthcare system. 

Reproductive justice recognizes that the human rights to maintain personal bodily autonomy; to have children or to not have children; and to parent children in safe and sustainable communities are fundamental and interconnected. Reproductive justice is rooted in access to a full spectrum of reproductive healthcare, including abortion, not just an empty promise of “choice” that ignores the systemic barriers that prevent poor women and women of color from accessing essential health services. While abortion access is critical, reproductive justice also calls for access to contraception, comprehensive sex education, STI prevention and care, prenatal, pregnancy, and postpartum care, alternative birth options, domestic violence assistance, parental leave, childcare, and so much more.

Healthcare

  • Create a universal healthcare system in New York State by passing the New York Health Act (NYHA) as soon as possible. Through its passage, New York State will provide a viable political model to the rest of the country while building momentum for the passage of Medicare for All nationwide. 

  • Ensure that the bill is not watered down in passage. The system should satisfy DSA’s five principles for a single payer health system: it must be 1) a single health program administered by the state that is 2) free at the point of use; 3) comprehensive, including mental health, substance abuse treatment, reproductive health, dental, vision, hearing, prescription drugs, medical supplies, gender-affirming treatment, long-term care, and hospice care; 4) universal, covering all communities, regardless of immigration systems or employment; and 5) includes a jobs program for those affected by the transition to government-run healthcare.

  • Starting with public ownership of hospitals, move towards a publicly owned healthcare system that serves all communities equally according to their need and ends the tiered system of healthcare inequality based on class, race, and geography. 

  • End the unequal distribution of disproportionate-share payments to hospitals that treat large numbers of Medicaid and uninsured patients

  • Oppose the further closing of vital healthcare facilities that serve working-people and increase community oversight and input into closure decision-making; increase funding for public hospitals and community health centers.

  • Guarantee safe staffing and fair wages for health care workers. 

  • Increase public funding for medical research and development to work towards ending monopoly drug pricing.

Reproductive Justice

  • Guarantee free abortion and contraception, on demand, provided routinely in all hospitals and outpatient OB/GYN practices as part of a comprehensive universal health care system.

  • Provide free and universal childcare and pre-kindergarten as well as better pay and more structural support for overburdened childcare workers and educators.

  • Mandate paid parental and family leave.

  • Guarantee universal access to the full range of evidence-based medical professionals—such as doulas, midwives, physicians, and nurses—who provide prenatal and postpartum care to patients, ensuring a continuity of care from pregnancy through childbirth and the months after, which is key to addressing the maternal and infant mortality epidemic in New York.

  • Establish a maternal mortality review board to revise and implement protocols that have been shown to reduce maternal and infant mortality.