On Saturday, 23 members of Right Care Boston gathered for a long-awaited strategy retreat, where they would use a year’s worth of knowledge from listening tours to create actionable campaigns. After hours of brainstorming and discussion and three rounds of voting, the group winnowed down 20 potential campaigns to two final topics: 1) Lowering drug prices, and 2) Health care for all through improved access to primary care.
Skyrocketing drug prices
These topics address significant problems within our health care system, both in the Boston area and throughout the country. Gaps in medication coverage and the high cost of drugs were themes that members of Right Care Boston heard again and again on the listening tours. Drug prices have been increasingly featured on the national stage, as the Trump administration fails to take needed action on this issue. Also, Boston is the home to several pharmaceutical corporations, providing an opportunity for Right Care Boston to apply pressure on these companies with direct actions.
Right Care Boston members heard from numerous people on the listening tours that they loved their primary care doctor but struggled with long waits for appointments and inadequate transportation. As the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act threatens to further decrease health insurance coverage, access to primary care has become all the more important. One idea Right Care Boston members are excited about is a pilot plan for community-based, comprehensive health centers to help make primary care more accessible. In the long term, they hope to expand this goal to fight for universal health care.
A change you can see
“We were looking for topics that not only reflected what we heard from the community in the listening tours, but also that met our criteria for an actionable campaign,” said Stephanie Aines, RCA organizer and facilitator of the strategy retreat. A practical and worthwhile campaign must meet an unmet need, make good use of your group’s resources, and cannot be a project another group is already doing. Most importantly, said Aines, the goal you are working toward must be a change you can see.
The goal you are working toward must be a change you can see.
To achieve that change, Right Care Boston has formed two working groups that will meet once a week to create short and long-term action plans. Look out for more news on these two campaigns, and if you are interested in joining one of the campaigns or starting a new campaign in your city, contact Organize@lowninstitute.org.