Struggle for Health Justice

Audio from Boston Socialist Day School 2019.

This panel covers a wide range of topics touching on health justice. The panelists represent perspectives of both those who receive healthcare and healthcare workers.

Myranda Pierce from the Right Care Alliance gives an account of her struggles to receive adequate care as someone living with type I diabetes. She recounts the systemic hurdles that she and her family had to navigate to try to receive the care she needed both as a child and now as an adult. She recalls that her childhood was marked by a constant struggle to find ways of both acquiring and making do with inadequate supplies of insulin and ends her account with where things stand now where again she is faced with issues of access as a graduate student. See rightcarealliance.org for more information
Dan Luker a Vietnam veteran and a member of Veterans for Peace talks about his experience of the Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare system. This much maligned healthcare system, in Dan’s view, should be a model for universal healthcare and not the poorly functioning and villainous institution that it is made out to be in the media and by rightwing pundits. According to Dan, the VA is, in many ways, superior to Medicare. Yet it is being subjected to defunding and thus willful deterioration. See veteransforpeace.org for more information.

Lara Jirmanis, a family physician, talks about the horrific crackdown on immigrants by ICE and its implications for health in the affected communities. Lara explains the way that fear itself can result in physical health effects like low birth-weight for babies born to undocumented parents. The public charge rule has introduced new burdens on immigrants who, in order to receive legal immigration status, have to show that they will not be a ”drain” on the system by receiving benefits such as food stamps.

Finally, Nick Nasser, a medical student at Tufts University, breaks down the varieties of healthcare models that exist. He explains where the presidential candidates stand on healthcare. He also discusses the Medicare for All bills that are being considered by congress, HR1384 introduced by Representative Jayapal, and by the senate, S.1129 introduced by Bernie Sandars.