Health Care Action Task Force
Jobs with Justice
Jobs with Justice (JwJ) is a coalition of 75 local labor, community, student, and religious groups organized to win concrete victories on the road to achieving economic justice and lasting social change. We engage working people in addressing the root causes of poverty, organizing support for workers treated unjustly and/or illegally in the workplace and in organizing an economic base that respects the dignity of the entire community. St. Louis JwJ is part of the Jobs with Justice national network, which was founded in 1987. Local Jobs with Justice coalitions are one of few contemporary examples of permanent multi-issue coalitions empowering those in need to create a community with no place for hunger, homelessness, inadequate health care, unemployment, or discrimination.
B. Mission and Objectives as They Relate to the MFH Mission
We ask the Missouri Foundation for Health to partner with us in our organizing the St. Louis Jobs with Justice Health Care Action Task Force. We are creating a history of shared victories that both incrementally increase health care access and strategically develop collaborations among a broad range of allies that will eventually tip the balance toward health care reform that improves access for the un- and under-insured. As we select specific campaigns, our strategy is to prioritize advocacy for health policy that 1) defends and strengthens employer-based insurance for the working poor and 2) defends and strengthens safety net health care systems on which uninsured families depend. As our objectives clearly demonstrate, we share the MFH commitment to promoting positive health policy changes to achieve quality health care access for Missouri’s working poor.
C. Target Population
We believe that Missouri’s workers are a key constituency to engage in health care reform in our community. A 2004 Families USA report showed that over ¼ of Missourians (1.354 million) went without health insurance for some period in 2002-2003. Of that number, nearly 83% were from working families. The problem of the uninsured is increasingly a workers’ issue, and St. Louis JwJ is uniquely positioned to engage this constituency through their workplace and community organizations. Health care workers deserve special emphasis as they are on the front lines of our health care system every day. T...
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...ridge the Gap” National Day of Action in conjunction with SEIU and Rock the Vote, which generated extensive local press coverage including a Fox Files feature on Medical Debt; 9/04 St. Louis on the Air on Un- and Under-Insured; and 10/04 organized interviews for articles in The Nation and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Medical Debt. (2003-2004)
• Affordable Health Insurance Coverage Protected for Nearly 32,000 Area Workers and their Families – JwJ mobilized critical community support for low to middle income grocery workers, janitors, and telecommunications workers in recent years when all went on strike principally over shifting of prohibitively high health insurance costs onto workers. (2001-2004)
• “These Cuts Won’t Heal” – In the context of a potentially devastating 2003 state budget crisis, this project was a cooperative effort with Grass Roots Organizing and Metropolitan Congregations United Health Care Task Force, which successfully defended the prior year’s victory in “presumptive eligibility” for Medicaid, and defeated a Senate bill that would have significantly decreased eligibility in the Medicaid program. (2003)
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