GBIO members play a game to help clarify their thinking about health care costs
WBUR’s Martha Bebinger reports:
Get ready for the next hot religious campaign in Boston: rising health care costs. Yes, the group that chanted, prayed and sang their way to passage of the state’s health coverage law says it’s time to rein in health care spending.
Greater Boston Interfaith Organization launched a campaign yesterday. WBURs’ Martha Bebinger listened in and joined us Monday morning with a review of the first team meeting.
Bob Oakes: How important is it that this group is getting involved in the debate about rising health care costs?
Martha Bebinger: GBIO was very active in lobbying for the state’s health coverage law. My eardrums are still feeling the effects of the singing, chanting and praying that bounced off those marble State House walls, and they, along with Health Care for All and a few other health care advocacy groups, have decided to make sure consumers have a say in the debate about health care spending.
Why does the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization see this as a religious issue?
They see it as a social justice issue. Rising health care costs are eating into personal incomes of their members. Employers say they can’t hire more people or give adequate raises because so much of their profits, if they have any, are going towards higher health care premiums. And municipal and state services are being cut because spending on health care is increasing at three to four or more times the rate of inflation.
Even if there are compelling reasons, there’s a huge difference between supporting coverage for the uninsured and rallying members to hold down health care spending. What are they going to chant? What will the buttons and bumper stickers say?
Right, hard to imagine “Just say no to Fee for Service” or “Where did you get your MRI?” Health Care for All is pushing the message, “Better Quality Care Costs Less.” Even that’s a hard message to absorb because it runs counter to the way many of us think about health care.
But GBIO and Health Care for All have done this before. The first round of team leaders that gathered Sunday was fairly split about how hard it will be to translate the grassroots organizing they’ve done on other issues to slowing the growth of health care costs. Continue reading