Hello and thanks for reading All In, the very first issue of the Democratic Socialists for Medicare for All newsletter! This newsletter will serve as your guide to what’s happening with the campaign, including important upcoming dates, campaign milestones, spotlights on chapter activities and relevant healthcare news and updates on legislative activity. Want the next one in your inbox? Sign up here.
We have two important campaign updates to announce: First, we’re encouraging all M4A supporters to write their reps to support H.R. 676! Known as the Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, the bill “establishes the Medicare for All Program to provide all individuals residing in the United States and U.S. territories with free health care.” We’ve written three different letters you can copy and use to send to your reps based on their current stance toward the legislation. We need to keep the pressure on to ensure this bill survives!
Second, we’re going on tour! DSA is sponsoring Medicare for All: A speaking tour with Michael Lighty. The tour features longtime union activist and former DSA national director Michael Lighty. The tour will bring together DSA chapters, local unions, left-wing candidates and mass organizations in the run up to the 2018 elections. Check out the tour page for more info on dates, cities, featured speakers and more.
If you’re new to the campaign, or if you’ve been around for awhile, we’re happy you’re here! We can’t achieve a truly universal healthcare program without mass support from people just like you, who are fed up with the for-profit healthcare industry. We envision a different world—one where all medical treatments are free at the point of service for everyone under a single healthcare plan administered by the federal government. All means all. No co-pays, no exceptions, no one left out. Thanks for reading!
📋 FROM THE CAMPAIGN
Goodies from the M4A blog and the broader campaign
- Some Democrats (and former president Barack Obama) are tossing their support to “Medicare for All,” but we must remember: Medicare for All means something, and we can’t risk letting anyone water it down. M4A organizers Tim Higginbotham and Chris Middleman explain in Vox what our vision for a truly universal single-payer plan means and why we can’t concede any of the campaign’s five principles.
- We hosted our second national Medicare for All Weekend of Actioncampaign in August! More than 40 DSA chapters across the country organized canvasses, speaking events and town halls to raise awareness of M4A in their areas. You can watch a highlight reel of events here.
- Our friends across the pond can teach us a thing or two: DSA M4A steering committee members Benjamin Y. Fong and Dustin Guastella explain why the NHS was a profound win for the working class, and what lessons healthcare organizers can take as they fight for universal healthcare here at home.
- Forty percent of Americans don’t have $400 to spare in case of an emergency, so how can they possibly think about retirement? DSA M4A Steering Committee member Chris Riddiough penned a blog post on Medicare for All’s promise as a saving grace for exorbitant elder care costs.
Related news articles, essays, articles from outlets beyond the campaign:
- Democrats in the House have started a Medicare for All Caucus. This is an encouraging development, but we can’t trust the Democrats in office to work for a program that represents our vision of truly free-at-use healthcare for all. While we’re cautiously optimistic to see these ideas entering mainstream political discourse, we must stay vigilant and vocal to ensure our campaign principles aren’t watered down.
- Polling shows socialist demands such as Medicare for All and free college tuition are wildly popular with Americans. Instead of backing down, “the Left should assert these demands on as big a stage as possible,” Meagan Day writes.
- “It’s not New Deal liberalism”: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won the Democratic primary in New York's 14th congressional district in one of the biggest political upsets of the year. But when mainstream pundits attempted to define her politics, they got a lot wrong. Here's what democratic socialism means, explained by a democratic socialist.*
- Fresh off Ocasio-Cortez’s win, Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old New York DSA member, won the Democratic primary in New York’s 18th state Senate district race. Like Ocasio-Cortez, loud and vocal support for the Medicare for All campaign was a key tenet of her platform.
- And by the way, how did we even get here? Turns out, jobs during the industrial revolution could be so dangerous that factories had to have doctors on hand. With labor in such high demand during WWII, employers had to lure workers to positions with benefits and health insurance for them and their families. This Fast Company article traces the path to the health insurance we have today, and one thing is clear: it’s been downhill for workers ever since.
🔦 CHAPTER SPOTLIGHT
A look at what locals are doing around the country
- In a city where the poverty rate is over 26 percent, DSA Philly rallied with healthcare workers, community members, and elected leaders to pass a Philadelphia city-wide resolution supporting the Medicare for All Act of 2017. Here’s how they did it.
- DSA Long Beach put together a powerful video recapping their Weekend of Action activities. Take a look here!
- Faced with an influx of tech growth—and tech money—DSA Boulderis reaching out to those in danger of being left behind about how Medicare for All can help them.
- And that’s not all — Chapters in Seattle, New Mexico, West Virginia,East Bay and New York have all been active supporters of the M4A campaign over the last few months. Follow the M4A blog for chapter updates and spotlights.
The best stuff from our feeds
💪 Let’s keep the electoral momentum going: Jovanka Beckles is running for California State Assembly District 15, and has built her healthcare plan around our campaign’s five demands! Read it here.
📹 Our communications team continues to produce great videos. Don’t miss Rob Delaney’s moving story about how the NHS helped his family during a time of tremendous grief. Or, watch in English and Spanish as DSA member and labor activist Jose La Luz makes a passionate case for building a diverse, vibrant, and militant movement for single-payer. Finally, check out friend of the campaign Michael Lighty explaining how the demand for Medicare for All can motivate millions to demand more from our society.
😖 After surviving a heart attack, a teacher WITH health insurance was saddled with unexpected bills totalling over $100,000. Only after the story went viral did the hospital erase his bill, chalking it up to a mistake.
🤦🏽 Jake Tapper, Glenn Kessler and others in the media were recently caught in a series of lies about Medicare for All’s cost. Here’s the kicker: even after being exposed, they continue to repeat their lies. Read through Bernie Sanders’ clarifying Twitter thread and watch Matt Bruenig explain how the media gets duped by right-wing think tanks.
Beginning in October DSA’s Medicare for All campaign is going on tour.
We know that American politics is in crisis. Too many working people are finding their wages stagnant, retirement deferred and their insurance premiums rising. A federally funded, single-payer Medicare for All system can solve the crisis in health care, but more importantly it represents a transformative demand that has the potential to change American politics all together.
That’s why DSA is sponsoring a speaking tour with longtime union activist and former DSA national director Michael Lighty to bring together DSA chapters, local unions, left-wing candidates and mass organizations in the run up to the 2018 elections.
We know we need to push hard to make sure Medicare for All stays in the political limelight but we also know that in order for it to win we need mass pressure to demand a real and robust policy prescription that has the power to galvanize the working class across all sorts of social divisions and force elite politicians to answer the question “which side are you on?”
Check out the tour page for more info on dates, cities, featured speakers and more.
Newsletter graphic by Stephen Gose. Content written by members of the M4A communications subcommittee.
*Correction: The newsletter version of this section said this Vox article was written by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It was actually written by Meagan Day.