Support swells for health care justice at NYC conference

Supporters for Medicare for All chant for health care justice Jan. 13 at the Single Payer Strategy Conference in NYC.

By Elaine Branjord

Over 500 supporters of single payer health care—150 more than 2016—gathered Jan. 13-14 in NYC for the Single-Payer Strategy Conference, sponsored by Healthcare-NOW, Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare and One Payer States. After a rally for single payer health care at Trump Towers and a show of support with local union members striking for better health care, attendees gathered at the Wyndham New Yorker to network with friends and old new. Keynote speaker, Nina Turner, former Ohio state legislator and spokesperson for the Bernie Sanders’ campaign, set the tone for a weekend dedicated to a positive vision of healthcare justice. Speakers from local and national unions, progressive political movements, academics, and those involved in coalition building to include a broad spectrum of people shared their ideas and experiences. A wide variety of smaller group workshops addressed the challenges and opportunities to activists who will return to communities across the country.
Sunday morning attendees broke into small groups to discuss:
1. How to work to protect existing programs while fighting for a more transformative vision of healthcare.
2. We all win when we all win, partial victories.
3. How to work with allied movements for social and economic justice.
4. Sharing networks and personal stories.
On January 15, 200 activists marched to the financial district to a rally for health care sponsored by the New York State Nurses Association, where we again heard the story of a 22-year-old nursing student who died an unnecessary death after being refused care. Her parents have now become activists who are speaking for their daughter and so many others.
This conference met its objective to bring supporters together to network and learn from one another. Healthcare-NOW is organizing an umbrella campaign called Guaranteed Health Care for All. Watch for it soon.

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3 Responses to Support swells for health care justice at NYC conference

  1. Susan Stevens says:

    Stand tall. Trump and his band of thieves really are a bunch of wimpy bullies. Keep up the good fight.

  2. David Greenstein OD MS says:

    I am an optometrist who spends an enormous amount of time dealing with all the health insurance schemes ith which this country is inundated. The ACA is based on employer based private insurance plans which makes the US healthcare system one of the most expensive systems in the world. As a result, we pay 3 TRILLION dollars every year for our health care.
    Medicare ( our single payer system) is more than 30% more efficient than the rest of our private insurance based health care finance system. If we were to extend Medicare to all citizens, we would thus save about 1/3 of our healthcare costs or 1 TRILLION dollars every year. In addition, extending Medicare to our younger citizens would make Medicare even more cost effective because younger citizens use healthcare services less than older citizens.

    Congress has not seriously considered Medicare for all because the insurance companies have bribed congress with hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain their dominance of our health care system. Shame on Congress. Shame on Paul Ryan who wants to privatize all of our healthcare financing. Many other countries pay one half or less than we do for their health care. We can join the rest of the world to make healthcare a right and not a privilege as Bernie Sanders has been saying for many years.

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