Our Vision and Mission
The Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform envisions a nation where every resident has access to comprehensive, affordable, high quality health care.
To achieve our vision the Coalition seeks solutions and advance reforms that promote health equity through access to comprehensive, affordable, high quality health care for all Marylanders.
Women are the guardians of children’s and family health as well as the caretakers of the sick, disabled and elderly in our neighborhoods and communities. We are concerned about the hardships faced by far too many of us who cannot see a doctor when we are sick. Women are often unfairly burdened by the current health system because: (1) we work in low-paying jobs with no health benefits; (2) we hold part-time jobs without any coverage; (3) we are single mothers with dependent children who are ineligible for Medicaid; and (4) we work in small businesses that cannot afford to provide health insurance. Some 365,000 uninsured women in Maryland are affected by one or more of these problems.
Women across Maryland want, need and will work for a health care system that provides comprehensive, affordable, accessible, high quality health care for themselves, their families and their communities based on the Coalition’s Principles. The Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform organizes women, men and state organizations to be a force for expanding health care coverage to all of the state’s residents. The Coalition provides its members with information about legislation, policy and programs that bring us closer to our goal of achieving comprehensive health care. In turn, our members alert thousands of women and men across the state about actions they can take to advance the health care reform we seek.
Our Strategic Goals
The Strategic Goals for the Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform are:
- Educate our members and supporters, elected officials and the public
- Reach out to all potential allies of reform
- Engage our members in the reform issues and debates
- Advocate and take action, as a Coalition and as individuals, to bring quality, affordable health care to every resident in Maryland.
The Maryland Women’s Coalition for Health Care Reform believes that access to comprehensive, affordable, high quality health care should be a basic human right. The Coalition will also support interim steps leading to full reform, based on the following principles – that health care in Maryland will be:
Universal – Everyone residing in Maryland is covered for health care.
Comprehensive –– Health care includes a wide range of physical, mental, and dental health services in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings and from a variety of providers. Health care services include wellness, preventive, primary, acute, chronic, and long term care provided over each individual’s lifespan. All prescription drugs are covered.
Affordable – Costs of care do not prohibit anyone from seeking and getting care. Premiums, deductibles, and co-pays are on a sliding scale according to income and financial aid is available to low income individuals and families as needed. No one is forced to give up essential income, go into bankruptcy, or become impoverished because of personal health costs.
Accessible – Health care services are available in a variety of settings in every community, from urban specialty hospitals to rural health centers, from doctors’ offices to school-based clinics, from long-term care and hospice to the home. No one has to travel long distances in order to receive appropriate and timely care.
High Quality – Health care services will meet the highest medical standards for everyone. No one receives a lower standard of care due to income, race or ethnicity, gender, employment, immigration status, disability, pre-existing condition, geographic location, or any other reason.
Coordinated – Each individual who enters the health system is assured that services and treatments are planned and managed among all providers over the continuum of care for the optimum benefit of the patient’s health. Care remains coordinated over the lifespan of each individual.
Patient-Centered – Our health system serves the health and wellness needs of people, not the profit margins of insurance and drug companies. Everyone, no matter their age, race/ethnicity, gender, income, or geographic location, should receive health services that are comfortable, reassuring, efficient, and to the highest standards in order to optimize their care. For women this includes the full range of reproductive health services and settings and providers specifically designed to serve them. Transparency and education enables each individual to share in her/his personal medical decisions.
Culturally Respectful – Our diverse population requires that health care meet the needs of people with differing health traditions, who speak languages other than English, and whose health needs reflect their lifelong experiences. Each individual who enters the health system is treated with the same high level of regard and caring.
Fiscally Sustainable – Fiscally sound strategies for financing a universal system are based on the creative use of multiple public and private sources. These include state and federal revenues, business and payroll taxes, enrollee contributions, tobacco and alcohol taxes, Medicaid and Medicare dollars, and other dedicated revenue streams as needed. Savings and efficiencies are achieved from some of the following:
- use of health information technology
- eliminating unnecessary paperwork once everyone is covered
- lower administrative costs
- reduced health care costs as people receive preventive care
- lower profit margins for the private health insurance market
- lower drug prices through government negotiations with drug companies
- decreased use of emergency rooms and other costly acute care services
- reductions in waste and duplication through improved tracking of services