“Impact on Issues,” LWV Official Policy Document

The League’s statement of support for “a national [program] financed through general taxes in place of individual…premiums” — now also called Improved and Enhanced Medicare for All — is clear.

The following points are found in the League’s Position on Health Care in Impact on Issues 2022-2024, pp. 137-139.

(Note: The current Impact on Issues was updated to reflect the Update Concurrence that was adopted at the 2022 National Convention. Concurrence with the LWVNY Health Care position strengthened several aspects of the position. For a flyer with short overview of the concurrence from a local League member, click here. (See a Glossary for “League-specific” meanings of terms like “position” and “concurrence.”) For information on the 2024 Vermont Update Concurrence Campaign, click here.

History of LWVUS Healthcare Advocacy (pp. 139-143). This section chronicles actions including testimony before Congressional committees, coalitions with groups that support Single Payer health care, amicus briefs, and a large-scale education campaign on health care issues undertaken in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

Events during the COVID-19 Pandemic exposed tragic shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act and other reform efforts based on for-profit insurance: the pandemic has deepened racial disparities in healthcare and for-profit business models have severely weakened our public health infrastructure.

Under the ACA, for-profit insurers have achieved record profits while medical costs have continued to rise many times faster than wages, and health outcomes for Americans have worsened. In the pandemic, the US, with only 4% of the world’s population, has suffered 16% of its deaths. The ACA has not provided a path to universal and affordable healthcare, nor sufficient investment in public health to fight the coronavirus.

Current Opportunities for LWV Healthcare Advocacy

HCR4US proposes that the League remains true to its stated goals when it advocates strongly for Single Payer/ improved Medicare for All.

Steps LWVUS has taken in the past:

All of these actions remain important contributions toward achieving the League’s goal of universal, comprehensive, high-quality care that is affordable for the individual and sustainable for the country.

Watch a two-minute clip with statement by LWVUS Director of Government Affairs, Jessica Jones Capparell, in response to a question during an LWV-MA program April 2022: Q: “Does the League support a Medicare for All system of health care?” A: Yes!

Single Payer/ Medicare for All as a Racial Justice Issue

At the 2020 Convention, the LWVUS by-laws were amended to place the League’s commitment to a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policy on a par with the bedrock League policy, its non-partisanship. Following the amendment, all local and state Leagues are strongly encouraged to include these two foundational policies in their bylaws modeled on Article II of the LWVUS bylaws.

DEI considerations underline the alignment of Single Payer Health Care reform with the foundational policies of the League.

See DEI policy in Impact on Issues (pp. 3-4). Link to DEI resources on the Management Site. Link to Bylaws Template. See resources for DEI/Healthcare advocacy and education in Toolkit Resources.

In its effort to have the League “Speak with One Voice,” (p. 2) this document outlines levels of responsibility and levels of approval for action. The section on “Taking Action” (pages 2-9) distinguishes Advocacy versus Lobbying, and Grassroots versus National level action, and gives links to helpful forms, for example the Federal Action Request Form (or a FARF).

For advocacy on non-priority issues at the federal level, topics other than Making Democracy Work and Diversity priorities (like Health Care Reform and Climate), state and local Leagues must coordinate with LWVUS through Action Alerts or “FARFs”). Read more

Unprecedented growth of PRIVATE EQUITY INVESTMENT in Health Care makes the LWV position on PRIVATIZATION relevant to Health Care Advocacy.

In addition to failing to achieve goals of the League’s Health Care Position, the current “financialization” of health care violates the guidelines of the LWV position on Privatization. Full wording of the 2012 position from pages 63-64 of the 2022-24 Impact on Issues can be found here. The position does not categorically oppose “the transfer of governmental services, assets, and/or functions to the private sector,” as long as “transparency, accountability, and preservation of the common good” can be ensured. The need to safeguard public health is highlighted with this warning:

Privatization is not appropriate when the provision of services by the government is necessary to preserve the common good, to protect national or local security or to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of society.

Private Equity (PE) investment in health care has made the sector 2nd only to Apple and Amazon in profitability, but NOT health care excellence. More and more studies describe the rapid decline in quality of care and outcomes.

The fallout from PE, sometimes called “vulture capitalism on steroids,” is gaining more media attention. The statistics on health outcomes are grim. CBS Morning (12/6/22) broadcast an 8-minute segment that graphically illustrates the business model that plunders the assets of facilities it acquires. A March 2023 overview from Public Citizen, titled “Private Equity’s PATH OF DESTRUCTION in Health Care Continues to Spread” puts the conflict between health and outsized profits in clear perspective in the first few pages, and then chronicles the danger to our health infrastructure in 15 health sectors, with ample footnotes and pointers to more information. In addition, the HCR4US YouTube channel has two videos (so far) of programs detailing the troubling trend. The “Get Involved” page of this Toolkit includes testimony in favor of a state-based single-payer bill as a defense against the ravages of Private Equity.

State and National LWV Resolutions, Studies, and
Other Documents on Health Care Reform

For a GLOSSARY of some League-specific terminology for Actions discussed in this section, click HERE.


Since 1945 (under President Truman), LWV has been an official consultant organization to the U.S. United Nations Delegation supporting global UN social and economic initiatives. LWV-UN Observers sit at public meetings of the UN Economic and Social Council, and give input to the Delegation. Read more…

Annually on December 12, local Leagues advocate in concert with the UN on behalf of millions around the world without access to adequate health care. Find out more… (Official UN Universal Health Coverage Day here)

Health Care Reform for the U.S. (HCR4US) Google Group/Network:

Check out our page to help you…

GET INVOLVED – Suggestions for individuals and local Leagues

How Vermont's New Position Fights Abuses of Privatization 

Health Care Reform for the US