Monday, April 13, 2009

Healthcare Reform Activism Heats Up


WASHINGTON, DC – PDA activists from Northampton, MA, to Santa Barbara, CA, are preparing events for the upcoming “HR 676 Week of Action,” April 18-25, and PDA’s leadership will take to the road in support of Rep. John Conyers’ single-payer healthcare legislation.

“PDA remains committed to the single-payer solution, and we will continue to push for it inside and outside the beltway,” said Tim Carpenter, PDA’s executive director.

The week will kick off in Phoenix, AZ, on Saturday, April 18, with a healthcare town hall featuring Carpenter and representatives of allied organizations and elected officials. The same day, the Heartland Healthcare for All Forum will be held in Kansas City, MO.

On Sunday, April 19, Missourians for Single Payer will present Rep. Ed Massa speaking on “Washington’s Hidden Treasure: The Single-Payer Bill, HR 676” in St. Louis.

Monday, April 20, will see the first of four “Healthcare NOT Warfare” events in California, leading up to that state’s annual Democratic Party convention starting April 25. The Monday event will feature Carpenter and PDA California leader Dr. Bill Honigman at a town hall in Corona.

On Tuesday, April 21, Carpenter, Honigman and representatives of allied organizations will be featured at a Healthcare NOT Warfare rally in Orange County. On Wednesday, April 22, the action will shift to Santa Monica, where Carpenter will be joined by PDA Board Chair Mimi Kennedy and board members Tom Hayden and Norman Solomon for a Healthcare NOT Warfare forum.

On Thursday, April 23, Carpenter, Kennedy, Solomon and Honigman will be featured at a forum in Santa Barbara. Also that day, in Toledo, Ohio, Dr. Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, will speak on the issue at the University of Toledo.

On Friday, April 24, the action will shift to Massachusetts, for rallies in support of single-payer healthcare in Greenfield and Pittsfield, followed by a rally in Northampton on Saturday, April 25. Also on April 25, Dr. Fein will speak at SPAN Ohio’s annual conference.

Carpenter notes that experience in other countries has shown that single-payer is the only system that can provide universal coverage while lowering costs, and it would create an estimated 2.6 million jobs in healthcare and related industries in the U.S.

Other reform plans under consideration in Congress and the Obama administration are basically expansions of the current system of private health insurance, Carpenter said, “but healthcare corporations exist to make profits for their shareholders, not to provide healthcare. As long as they are part of the equation, real reform will elude us.”

Progressive Democrats of America is one of the nation’s fastest-growing grassroots political organizations; it has active chapters in 45 states. PDA is dedicated to reviving the progressive tradition of the Democratic Party through grassroots organizing and working with elected Democrats to advance peace, justice and social, economic and environmental responsibility. More information is available at: