In the 1970s, domestic workers were explicitly denied inclusion from even the most basic labor laws that purportedly provided worker protections, such as state minimum wage. In-home caregivers - employed through the state-funded and county-administered adult social service program for low-income aged, blind and disabled called In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) - were paid at levels well below the federal poverty line and excluded from job benefits.
Lack of access to comprehensive medical care was among the top priorities identified by these domestic workers who decided to seek out interested health care professionals and others among their volunteers and supportive individuals from the community to begin a free-of-charge preventive medical benefit program, all-volunteer run and operated independent of government or other strings-attached funding. As this effort grew, it led to the founding of Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals.
CCMP's definition of comprehensive health care developed directly from analysis of the economic determinants of poor health and the inadequacy of extant government health services encountered as CCMP volunteers worked with benefit program recipients from organizing drives of low-income workers and other medically uninsured workers to access preventive health care services. Preventive care is an essential aspect of comprehensive health care. This requires working both medically and in the community itself to change the conditions creating and perpetuating poor health among low-income workers.
Inadequate wages directly lead to substandard housing, poor sanitation and prevalence of disease-contributing (but less expensive) diets as well as absence of heating in the winter or cooling in the summer. These are economic determinants of disease among all poor people.
CCMP believes that bringing about comprehensive medical care requires changing the policies that presently deny such care. CCMP urgently needs full-time and part-time volunteers to join with those most in need of redress from current public and corporate policies that deny essential health services.