Report on Leadership Strategy Retreat

In the midst of intensifying policy and political debates in America, with healthcare issues and topics at the top of people’s concerns, the leadership of the Right Care Alliance had a strategy retreat this past weekend.

We are pleased to report we made a series of decisions that will advance our work forward:

1. First among these was a decision to move to a formal membership model for the RCA. As we begin to take more and more action for a health system worth fighting for, people need to step up and make a commitment to themselves and to each other. Becoming a member is a clear and simple way of doing that. We are committed to democratic participation in the Right Care Alliance, so we need to make the space for people to step up. Membership also ensures that we have a way of identifying people who should have a say in the strategic direction of the organization.

It’s critical that we maintain our political independence as we build a movement organization dedicated to helping the public take control of our health care system. First and foremost that means keeping our funding independent of any sources that could hamper our willingness and ability to make the right decisions. 

2. We have re-organized our Steering Committee to represent those Chapters and Councils that are active. If you are a member of a chapter or council, stay tuned for more info about this.

3. We finalized the language of the single-payer plank in our description of the Right Care program as follows: “To put patients and communities first, Right Care requires universal, publicly-funded insurance coverage integrated into a redesigned, not-for-profit health system that eliminates overpricing, waste, needless complexity, and is accountable to the people it serves.”

4. For our work in the fall and winter, we endorsed a continued focus on the outrageous prices of insulin as the perfect example of unaffordable drugs. We plan to continue actions in the fall to demand affordable insulin and all prescription medications.

5. This year RCAW will be integrated with the insulin campaign with RC Boston and Gainesville planning actions in the 3rd week of October. Other chapters, and the Councils will support that effort in various ways. Some people will continue with Listening Booths and “What Worries You” cards as their entry into Right Care action steps.

6. We are also going to develop and initiate a pledge campaign for congresspeople to renounce contributions from the pharmaceutical industry and we are going to keep track of who’s been naughty and who’s been nice!

7. We are also continuing to develop our proposal for a non-profit state-based pharmaceutical distribution company, which we think will likely be the focus of our efforts in RC Boston in 2019.

We won’t be able to do any of the ambitious things we want without the resources, so we are going to be focusing more and more on grassroots fundraising. This is a fight worth fighting for — for ourselves, for our families, for future generations. We all will have to step up if we want to win.