Blog

May 8, 2018

Register for June's National Single-Payer Strategy Conference in Minneapolis!

by DSA M4A

With the Center for American Progress floating their Medicare Extra for All plan and Senators Jeff Merkley and Chris Murphy introducing their Choose Medicare Act into the Senate, democratic socialists pushing for single-payer healthcare must remember not only the futility of making demands from a position of compromise, but also the incredible opportunity that's before us. Medicare for All has never been as popular with voters as it is now.

Democratic Socialists for Medicare for All coalition partner and Labor Campaign for Single-Payer national director Mark Dudzic writes:

Medicare for All has won the battle of ideas. Now we have to win the battle against entrenched economic and political power. This fight won’t be made any easier by harboring illusions that we can somehow compromise our way to victory. Every country in the world that recognizes healthcare as a right for all of its citizens did so in response to a powerful working class movement backed by unions and grassroots organizations. The time has come to construct such a movement in the U.S.
“A defensive posture and incremental demands have not worked. Let’s play offense instead,” says Michael Lighty of the National Nurses United, himself also a DSA
... (read more)
May 4, 2018

A Profound Break

by James Cole

In Austin, we recently worked to pass a law mandating that all employers provide their workers with earned paid sick days at a rate of 1 hour earned for every 30 hours worked. In some places in the country, this might not sound very impressive, but deep in the heart of Texas this counts as a significant leap forward for workers’ rights. In fact, we’re the first city in the south to guarantee workers paid time off when they’re sick. For Austin DSA, this was a really energizing win. But it’s not just the content of the reform that’s been so energizing.

Winning any reforms in a state like Texas, even in a city as ostensibly “progressive” as Austin, takes an enormous amount of organization and mobilization. In addition to a deeply reactionary state legislature, Texas’s version of the Democratic Party is even more corporate and business-friendly than the national Democratic Party, with many members of our city council openly connected to the local Chamber of Commerce and independent business association. Any kind of improvements in the conditions of working people in Austin, whether reformist or non-reformist, requires a high level of activity on the part of Austin workers... (read more)

May 1, 2018

What Single-Payer Means to an Alaskan Fisherman with Breast Cancer

by Malena Marvin

Originally published on Medium on April 17, 2017.

If you haven’t had a chronic illness while self-employed, the term “single-payer” might not mean much to you. Let me explain what it means to me. Grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up, this is going to take a few minutes.

My life under “Multiple-Payer”

Just before sitting down to do some marketing work for my fishing business today, I opened a letter from Moda Insurance letting me know they wouldn’t be paying my cancer-related medical bills from last December, when I started chemotherapy. The letter did not explain why, it just said I was “ineligible” for service and that an $1100 bill was headed my way.

This is the fourth time in my 18-month battle with cancer that Moda has sent a cryptic letter to tell me I was on the hook for thousands of dollars. The previous three times I was able to show the expensive “mistakes” were Moda’s, not mine. I accomplished this by spending many, many, many hours talking on the phone with hospital billing departments and with Moda while pacing around our house snorting like a wild horse. But trying to snort calmly. Because cancer patients are not supposed to stress... (read more)

April 28, 2018

45 DSA Locals Made it a Weekend of Action

by DSA M4A

On April 21st and April 22nd, 45 DSA chapters and organizing committees hit the streets of their respective communities to make connections with friends and neighbors and offering their vision of a health care system where their well-being and that of their loved ones would be safeguarded from the profit motive of private insurers.

In Philadelphia, the chapter canvassed for single-payer-supporting electoral candidates; New Orleans got some help from some Baton Rouge comrades in kicking off their M4A canvassing; Ventura County tabled at their weekend farmers' market and North Texas hosted an event with health justice advocate Tim Faust — just a handful of the canvasses, actions and fundraisers democratic socialist organizers took part in last weekend, shifting our national campaign into its next gear.

That's somewhere near 1,000 all-volunteer organizers in over 20 states setting their weekends aside to help power this movement — it's only just beginning and the nation is taking notice. Common Dreams covered the weekend in a piece entitled, "Democratic Socialists Aren't Just Demanding #Medicare for All, They're Organizing for It," and a certain US senator from Vermont and author of the Senate's Medicare for All bill tweeted his support:

We're... (read more)

April 26, 2018

M4A Organizing Resource! - Medicare for All: Women and Health Webinar

by Christine Riddiough

Women are the major users of health care, both for themselves and for their children, and often, their parents. Women are also the majority of health care providers, as nurses, home health care workers and often as unpaid providers for elderly relatives. What are the specific concerns for women related to health and how can we organize to address them? What does this mean for our Medicare for All campaign? Join panelists Natalie Shure, Medicare for All committee members Megan Svoboda and Amy Zachmeyer, and DSA National Director Maria Svart to discuss socialist feminist approaches to Medicare for All on Wednesday, May 2, 2018 9pm ET/8pm CT/ 7pm MT/ 6pm PT.

RSVP for the webinar: http://www.dsausa.org/medicare_for_all_women_and_health_webinar 

Read more about women and the for-profit healthcare system.

Christine Riddiough is a member of the DSA NPC, the DSA Medicare for All Steering Committee, and a long-time feminist activist.

April 23, 2018

Spotlight On...NYU YDSA

by NYU YDSA

On February 24th, New York University’s YDSA chapter canvassed in public housing in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan to mobilize around universal health care —Medicare For All (M4A), on the national level, and our statewide fight for the New York Health Act (NYHA). Despite bad weather, over 20 participants from NYU YDSA, Lower Manhattan DSA, and the NYC DSA Socialist Feminist Working Group turned out to agitate working-class residents around health care and ask them to join in advocating for the NYHA.

The NYHA is a single-payer health care bill for the state of New York; it's essentially a state-wide version of M4A. If the NYHA passes and is implemented in New York, this would be a huge tactical victory for the national M4A campaign. Given regular population movement, it would create serious pressure on neighboring state governments for health care transformation. It would lend credence to a demand that all NY legislators support the national bill. And it would prove to the rest of the country that single-payer can and will succeed in the U.S.

We began with a brief one-hour training from the Socialist Feminist Working Group. In just a short training, canvassers got a comprehensive overview... (read more)

April 22, 2018

Earth Day Must Be Anti-Capitalism Day

by DSA M4A

Joint Statement of the Climate & Environmental Justice Working Group and the Democratic Socialists for Medicare for All Campaign Committee

To truly affirm a commitment to environmental stewardship this Earth Day, we must oppose the destructive and inhuman practices endemic to capitalist production. Earth Day, in other words, must be celebrated as Anti-Capitalism Day. The U.S. economy’s foundation on profit for the few is a contributor to the lack of access to both quality healthcare and a healthy environment. We are well past the point where the half-measures and compromises propagated by green-washing capitalists should have any appeal or be viewed as legitimate solutions to multiple, global crises. It is time to reorient the system to address the needs of the planet and of people rather than the pursuit of endless growth and profit. Only a clear-thinking, ecosocialist program anchored in a working-class politics that puts the ruling class on its heels can save us from environmental catastrophe.

In the shorter term, the ever more apparent effects of climate change have made life worse for people everywhere, most so among oppressed and marginalized communities. It is low-income Americans who overwhelmingly are found living in proximity to polluting industries, freeways and... (read more)

April 19, 2018

Democratic Socialists of America Primed for Medicare for All Weekend of Action

by DSA M4A

On April 21-22, DSA chapters in dozens of cities around the country will host rallies, canvasses, and town halls as part of the Democratic Socialists for Medicare for All campaign’s first nationally coordinated Weekend of Action.

40 chapters in over 20 states will participate, with activities scheduled to begin on the morning of Saturday, April 21 and continue through the weekend. Included in the planned activities are over 20 canvasses, a Medicare for All rally in Denver, a debt clinic and health fair in New Orleans, and town halls in several cities, including Houston and Dallas. Multiple chapters will host launch events for their local Medicare for All campaigns.

These DSA Chapters Are Making it A Weekend of Action
  • East Bay DSA
  • Philly DSA
  • North Central West Virginia DSA
  • WVU YDSA
  • Pittsburgh DSA
  • DSA LA
  • Whatcom DSA
  • Lousiville DSA
  • New Orleans DSA
  • Houston DSA
  • Austin DSA
  • North Texas DSA
  • Green Country DSA
  • San Antonio DSA
  • Twin Cities DSA
  • Chicago DSA
  • Lawrence DSA
  • Madison DSA
  • Denver DSA
  • Phoenix DSA
  • Seattle DSA
  • SnoCo DSA
  • Chattanooga DSA
  • Quiet Corner DSA
  • South Sound DSA
  • Detroit DSA
  • Huron Valley DSA
  • Grand Rapids DSA
  • Western Suburban DSA
  • Kansas City DSA
  • Boone DSA
  • NC Piedmont DSA
  • NYC... (read more)
April 16, 2018

Jacobin & Dissent Team Up In the Fight for Medicare for All

by DSA M4A

Two leading magazines of the left have new issues out, focusing on health care—and they're offering them both to you for the price of one.

Dissent's new issue, with a special section on Healthcare for All, and Jacobin’s "The Health of Nations," are each packed with articles on the struggle for a health care system that works for workers and not for profit.

"The left will not live forever on the sidelines of political power," writes Adam Gaffney in the introduction to the special section of Dissent's issue. "When we have an opportunity to remake our health care system, we must be sure to seize it." The issue provides a piercing diagnosis of the current health care system in the United States—and a path for how to fix it. 

And you won’t want to miss an exclusive interview with Senator Bernie Sanders in Jacobin. He’s got a message on health care—and the message is good. 

For a limited time, get both magazines for the price of one. You'll receive copies of both Jacobin and Dissent — for just $12.95.

We know winning Medicare for All in the United States won't be... (read more)

April 12, 2018

DSA Medicare for All Campaign Spring Update

by DSA M4A

Clockwise from top left: SW Michigan DSA; NYU DSA; Denver DSA


DSA's national Medicare for All Campaign Committee has been working to put together new materials to support the campaign and reaching out to and coordinating among the now 100-plus Local Chapters working on the campaign!

We have an updated website with new organizing materials, Local Chapter updates featured in our blog and we are now organizing for our first National Weekend of Action. Read more below.

COMMUNICATIONS

Our Communications team has been hard at work popularizing our principles and pushing a bold democratic socialist message around Medicare for All.

Our social media is in full swing, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We want to use these channels to highlight the amazing work of local chapters in front of a national audience. To help with this, we’ve written a communications best practices guide so you can maximize your chapter’s outreach and engagement.

An updated version of our website is now live! This is Version 3.0, and it has a host of new features that will better serve the campaign and our Local Chapters. We have developed and made available more flyers, posters, stickers, editable... (read more)