NEW ORLEANS - At last week's regular Council meeting, Council President Jason Williams introduced a resolution urging Congressional support for universal, comprehensive health care coverage throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Unanimously adopted Resolution R-20-125 has since been widely praised by organizations and advocates nationwide, including presidential candidate and Senator Bernie Sanders.
"The United States is the only large wealthy nation in the world without universal health care. This pandemic painfully highlights the health care disparities that have existed for years and has put a spotlight on the systemic inequalities at the root of our health care system, which treats good health as a privilege. After the past several weeks, I think it is abundantly clear that the lack of healthcare and health of your fellow citizens has a direct impact on your health, physical and fiscal, regardless of their income bracket. Our most vulnerable citizens pre-COVID need our support now more than ever, and if we don't do something about it, they will be even more vulnerable post-pandemic. We can and must do better; it's in our collective best interests," said Councilmember Williams.
Per a recent article in Public Citizen, almost 30% of Louisiana residents have unpaid medical debt, and the state suffers from some of the worst racial health disparities in the nation, demonstrated by the disproportionate rates of morbidity and mortality among black Louisianans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the Council's approval of this resolution, New Orleans joins other cities, including Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco, in the fight for health care for all.
Senator Bernie Sanders' congratulatory tweet to the Council following Thursday's meeting
Keith D. Lampkin
Jason Roger Williams, Council-At-Large