Healthcare is a Human Right - Maryland
We are a statewide grassroots campaign that strives for universal healthcare in Maryland. We will achieve this goal through building a people’s movement that unites communities across our state, grounded in our human rights vision. We were founded in 2012 by the United Workers, Healthcare-NOW! Maryland, and Physicians for a National Health Program–Maryland. Our ultimate goal is to pass legislation that will create a single-payer healthcare system in Maryland. We have already developed organizing groups in several counties, including Carroll, Howard, Frederick, Montgomery, Baltimore, and Calvert.
What is the human right to healthcare?
The human right to healthcare is a part of our right to health, which goes beyond healthcare and includes a healthy environment, healthy work conditions, and other aspects of life that affect our health. The human right to healthcare means that everyone has the right to get the healthcare they need, when they need it, regardless of payment or any other factors. Healthcare must be provided as a public good to everyone, rather than a market commodity sold only to those who can afford it. Healthcare must be financed and administered publicly, and should be free at the point of access.
The protection of all human rights is guided by a basic set of principles. We use these principles to describe what a healthcare system based on human rights must look like:
Universality: Everyone must have access to comprehensive, equal high-quality healthcare.
Equity: Healthcare resources and financing must be shared equitably, so that everyone gets what they need and pays what they can. There must be no systemic barriers to accessing care.
Accountability: Government has an obligation to establish a healthcare system that meets human rights principles, and this system must be accountable to the people it serves.
Transparency: The healthcare system must be open with regard to information, decision-making, and management.
Participation: The healthcare system must enable meaningful public participation in all decisions affecting people’s right to health care, including the design and operation of the system itself.