This month's newsletter begins with testimony from an NWL-NY organizer about how gaining access to healthcare changed her life. The past few months have reminded us that it takes courage and action to push back against cuts to systems, like healthcare, that we all rely on. We know that we have to build a strong and broad people's movement to not only hold the line against these cuts, but also to push forward and win more of what working people need.

Our work is part of that push forward, and we hope that you were able to join us during this last month. If not, please write us and tell us how you'd like to get involved. 

In solidarity,
National Women's Liberation

Having health insurance doesn't mean you can afford to see the doctor
Testimony from an NWL member

"For the past ten years, since graduating from college in 2007, I haven’t had consistent healthcare. As a freelancer (and previously a barista and waitress) over the past 10+ years, I have never had access to healthcare through a job. Until the Affordable Care Act was instated, I was uninsured. And up until this year, I was unable to fully utilize my health insurance and fully take care of my health, due to high deductibles. This year I qualified for Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) extended program. I am the healthiest, and in turn, probably the happiest, I have been in my adult life. But because so many others still lack heath insurance- or are under-insured- I fear that the country won’t rally against healthcare cut backs. I doubt my story is unique and many people- especially women- will relate to my struggle to take care of my health.

About 10 years ago, in Philadelphia, PA, my husband (then boyfriend) found a relatively affordable health insurance plan. When I looked into the exact same plan, it was more expensive for me; I was told it was because I am a woman and was marked with a pre-existing condition of anxiety. Pre-ACA, premiums were higher for women than men, and costly pre-existing conditions didn’t need much to be substantiated. I could not afford the premium that was offered for me, so my husband was able to have health insurance, but I was not... 
When the ACA was instated a few years later, we signed up as soon as we could. There were some great and not so great aspects of these new plans. There were no more exploitative differences in rates between women and men and no more discriminatory higher rates based on pre-existing conditions. With the help of a subsidy, we could afford the monthly premium for the ‘Bronze Plan’ (the lowest ring of plans aside from the ‘Catastrophic Plan’). But while we were “covered”, the plan had a very high deductible ($6,000 each/year) and very little coverage. I was over 29, and too old for the government subsidy for the catastrophic plan. Because of our high deductible, we ended up using the Bronze Plan as a Catastrophic Plan. My husband and I only used the plan for the yearly physical; my husband once tried to get medical advice during the physical and the doctor told him that he’d have to make an appointment to talk about any issues outside of the general physical. Regular appointments were not included in our plan’s coverage. We couldn’t afford to be paying out of pocket until the deductible was met. We paid our premium every month to have one physical a year and an emergency room cap".... read the complete article here.      

 NWL-New York gathers testimony on how life changing guaranteed healthcare could be

For their July meeting, the New York chapter of NWL gathered testimony in Union Square in response to the the question: "How different would your life be if we had free guaranteed healthcare?"

These are a few of the responses:
  • I would have less anxiety about my partner’s employment & healthcare.
  • I’d save more than $7,000 on mental health care per year.
  • My mother, in remission from stage 3 breast cancer, could retire at 62 without having to worry about not being able to afford treatment if she needs it again.
  • I wouldn’t need to worry about access to birth control!
  • Less stress.
  • I wouldn't have to choose between groceries and medications.
  •  Wouldn’t delay doctors visits.
  • I would have an extra $300 per month.
  • I would go to any specialist or doctor without caring about the cost.
  • I would quit my job.

Photo above taken in Union Square, July 2017. Photo by Amanda Daughtery.

Photo above: Taken at the Socialism 2017 conference and found on their website.
NWL organizer speaks at Socialism 2017 Conference on abortion
NWL organizer, Jenny Brown, spoke at the July Socialism Conference 2017 on a panel, "How to Lose the Fight for Reproductive Justice" with Lichi D'Amelio of NY for Abortion Rights. From Jenny: “Abortion is health care,” has become the go-to slogan, and while it  should be just seen as health care, we need to be clear that the reason it’s under attack is not  because it’s health care but because it gives women power to control their reproduction." 

Click here to listen to the panel discussion.
NWL on the radio show,
Joy of Resistance
Fran Luck interviewed NWL organizers Gabrielle Muller and Jenny Brown on the how Single Payer National Healthcare would change the lives of women for the better.

You can find an archive of the show here.
NWL-Gainesville Grassroots Theory Meetings on the feminist stake in universal healthcare 
This month the Gainesville chapter of NWL hosted a discussion on readings from Redstockings' packet Women's Liberation & National Health Care; Confronting the Myth of America

The packet, originally written in 1999, makes the case for how women would be more free if the country won social supports like universal healthcare. While the arguments in the packet are still compelling, we want to update the data the packet relies on. If you're interested in being a part of that research, contact us.
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Photo above: NWL-Tallahassee organizing committee at a sister-march in Nov 2016. Photo by Emily Calvin.
NWL Organizing Committee in
Tallahassee, FL
We're excited to announce that there is an NWL organizing committee in Tallahassee, FL, who has been organizing since the fall of last year. Write us if you are in the Tallahassee area and want to get involved.

Florida NWL chapters support Felon Voter Rights Restoration

Florida has the highest voter disenfranchisement rate in the country. Florida citizens are gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would amend Florida’s constitution and restore voting rights to most people who have completed their sentences. They need 700,000 signature to add the initiative to the ballot. If you're in Florida, add your name and consider collecting signatures.

Solidarity Highlight

The Dream Defenders are hosting their annual conference. This year the hope to include 200 organizers from around the country.

They are asking for donations to support travel, printing & materials, food and facilities rental for their members, organizers, and community partners. You can contact their co-director Umi Selah to donate.

The above information and image below were reproduced from a recent Dream Defenders email. You can find them on Facebook here
National Consciousness Raising Training in the works
Stay posted: we are planning a national call-in training on how to host a consciousness raising! We'll have more details soon, but we anticipate it will be in late August-early September. 

You can read more about NWL's use of CR here.

NWL-NYC gathering testimony in 2015. Photo by Jenny Brown.
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About NWL

National Women's Liberation  is a feminist group for women who want to fight back against male supremacy and win more freedom for women.  Our priorities  are abortion/birth control, overthrowing the double day, and feminist consciousness raising. Our  Women of Color Caucus (WOCC)  meets separately from white women to better understand how racism intersects with sexism to oppress women of color.