Cape Care Language
Whereas, Health care coverage has become less affordable and less available to growing numbers of people in our community, despite all efforts to date at both the state and federal level; and
Each person who lacks adequate health care coverage faces increased risks of illness, disability, and premature death. Our region has well above state-average rates of uninsured – and underinsured – people; and
The families of such individuals are faced with growing out-of-pocket costs. These families must now confront the soaring expenses of health coverage, and the worry about bankruptcy or impoverishment in the event of serious illness. Their caregiver stress increases with the need to provide more and more uncovered care; and
Small businesses face the soaring expenses of covering their employees’ health premiums, passing some of these costs along to employees in the form of rising premiums and out-of-pocket payments. Our regional predominance of small businesses and self-employed individuals is, understandably, a key factor in the low rates of health care coverage; and
Our Town governments struggle with the costs of health care for town employees. We the people are regularly forced to choose among other important and accustomed community services for budget cuts; and
Our community health care providers and institutions are caught in the inescapable financial squeeze of rising administrative costs and declining reimbursements. They are forced to reduce staffing, cut services, or close. Access to care for all they serve is diminished.
These consequences represent losses in quality of life for many (if not all) members of the Cape and Islands community, and a threat to our collective welfare.
We petition our County Government to support the development of a proposed regional universal health care program, known as Cape Care, which would, at a minimum, meet these criteria:
• provide broad health care coverage for ALL residents of the Cape and Islands, to improve individual and community health; and
• control health care cost inflation by reducing excessive administrative expenses, as well as through bulk discount purchasing of necessary medications and medical supplies; and
• shape health care delivery to meet community needs for appropriate care, through a representative policy-making board of community members and health care providers; and
• strengthen the ability of our existing network of health care providers and institutions to provide high-quality care, by assuring adequate funding for necessary services.
We call for a public hearing process in Barnstable County, to include analysis of the proposed plan’s organization and governance, its expected effects on community health, and its financial modeling, to be initiated by the end of the year 2006.
The Clerk of the Town is instructed to give Notice of Passage of this Resolution to the town’s representative to the County Assembly of Delegates, the County Commissioners, and the state and federal Representatives and Senators, within 30 days. (by petition)