Physicians for a National Health Program

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Physicians for a National Health Program is a single issue organization advocating a universal, comprehensive single-payer national health program. PNHP has more than 17,000 members and chapters across the United States.[1]

Our members and physician activists work toward a single-payer national health program in their communities. PNHP performs ground breaking research on the health crisis and the need for fundamental reform, coordinates speakers and forums, participates in town hall meetings and debates, contributes scholarly articles to peer-reviewed medical journals, and appears regularly on national television and news programs advocating for a single-payer system.
PNHP is the only national physician organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to implementing a single-payer national health program.

Socialist activists

Physicians for a National Health Program was founded by long time communist/socialist activist Dr. Quentin Young, who was identified before a congressional committee in 1968 as being a member of the Communist Party USA . Young took the Fifth Amendment when asked about this identification.[2].

Among Young's other CPUSA fronts and radical causes were his membership in the CPUSA-dominated National Committee to End the War in Vietnam, his creation of the Medical Committee for Human Rights MCHR, and later his membership in the marxist Democratic Socialists of America DSA. He was also in attendance at the March 22-24, 1969 "Tenth National Conference" of the cited CPUSA front, the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee NCAHUAC, where its name was changed to the National Committee to Abolish the House Internal Security Committee NCAHISC[3].

Additional information on Young, MCHR, and its youth arm, the Student Health Organization , can be found in "Testimony of Gerald Wayne Kirk", Part 2, Hearings, Senate Internal Security Subcommittee SISS, Senate Judiciary Committee, March 10, 1970, pp. 184-210, not inclusive of every page.

He has been one of Barack Obama's earliest political supporters, having attended the 1994 meeting at Weatherman Bill Ayers home where Obama was given support to run for leftist Alice Palmer's vacated Illinois State Legislature seat.[4]

Many other PNHP officials have far left connections including Oliver Fein, Steffie Woolhandler, Claudia Fegan, Walter Tsou and Mark Almberg.

  • Mark Almberg- has been an open CPUSA member and candidate for state offices (See his KW file for more information)
  • Steffie Woolhandler - A book review by Woolhandler and David U. Himmelstein appeared in the Maoist-oriented U.S. weekly the "Guardian", November 5, 1998, "Guardian Supplement - Fall, 1998", p. S-2, of "Crisis, Health and Medicine: A Social Critique" by Vincente Navarro, Tavistock Publications, 1986, 281 pp, $12.95. Navarro is a well-known leftist, pro-Castro activist.

Stefanie Woolhander was among 125 people arrested on Oct. 25, 1971, for an unpermitted parade in Killeen, Texas, for Veterans' Day. They group was associated with the anti-Vietnam/leftist "Oleo Strut Coffeehouse", a gathering place for leftists and off-duty soldiers from nearby Ft. Hood. The "Coffeehouse" has been a part of the loose network of radical coffeehouses associated with Jane Fonda and her "FTA Tour" of anti-Vietnam entertainers. Woolhander's police photo appeared on Page. 7398 of a HISC hearing on subversion within the military.[5].

The byline description for both reviewers was:

Personnel

Board of Directors[6]

Officers:

Regional and At-Large Delegates:

Past Presidents:

Board Advisors:

National Office Staff:

  • Ali Thebert - Chapter Organizer/Communications Assistance

"Single - payer" movement

According to Michael Lighty, a former National Director of Democratic Socialists of America, and Director of Public Policy for the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, writing in DSA's Democratic Left, Winter 2007/2008 .[7]

There’s a growing movement for single-payer universal healthcare. The movement is led by activists in Healthcare-Now!, doctors in the Physicians for a National Health Program, nurses in the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, leaders in labor unions such as United Steelworkers of America and Communication Workers of America, activists in the Progressive Democrats of America, and Congressman John Conyers, with the support for HR 676 by 300 union locals, 75 Central Labor Councils, and 25 state Federations of Labor, and hundreds of clergy and faith-based organizations, as well as civil rights, women’s and healthcare advocacy groups in the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare.
The policy proposals developed by Beltway think tanks and the principles for reform adopted by the AFL-CIO confer support for single-payer while allowing for private insurance-based approaches as well. Other bills in Congress, notably sponsored by Ted Kennedy and John Dingell and “Americare” introduced by Pete Stark, seek to incrementally establish a single-payer system.

National Health Insurance Conference

Congressman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) hosted a National Health Insurance Conference, April 16-17, 2004 to kick off a 50-state campaign for passage of national health insurance legislation, HR 676 – the “Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.” Conyers introduced HR 676 in the House in 2003.

Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator of Physicians for a National Health Program, keynoted the conference, speaking on “The State of Health Care – The Case for National Health Insurance.” Conyers spoke on “Launching a National Movement for HR 676,” followed by a session on “Getting the Message Out – Working the Media.”

Dean Baker, of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and Joel Segal, senior assistant to Conyers, presented the details of HR 676 in a session titled, “What Is It and How Do We Pay For It?” They will seek to arm the participants to take the message back to the neighborhoods. There was also a session on strategies to promote single-payer legislation on the state level. Activists were working on state single-payer bills in a number of states, including Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania. The agenda includes nuts-and-bolts workshops on working with unions, faith communities, educators, and health workers.

Ron Gettelfinger, United Auto Workers president, and Leo Gerard, Steelworkers president, both advocates of single-payer health care, were invited to address the conference. The conference also extended invitations to Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, two of the co-sponsors of HR 676.

Conference organizers intended to establish a national health insurance citizens’ network to begin implementing a campaign to pass HR 676 or its equivalent. They also hoped to open a national health insurance coordination office in Washington.

Dozens of health care and social justice organizations endorsed the conference including Physicians for a National Health Program, the Gray Panthers, Jobs with Justice of Washington, D.C., the National Coalition for the Homeless, the American Medical Students Association, Universal Health Care Action Network, and the National Welfare Rights Union.

“We believe that the leadership should come from the people that do the work, and now is the time to build a serious movement for national health insurance for all in America,” asserted conference organizers Michelle Tingling-Clemmons and Rick Tingling-Clemmons. The conference was held at Howard University Hospital and Towers Auditorium, 2041 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, D. C.[8]

References

  1. http://www.pnhp.org/about/about-pnhp
  2. Subversive Involvement in Disruption of 1968 Democratic Party National Convention, Part I, Oct. 3-4, 1968, pp. 2425-2427, 2443 and 2471-2472
  3. Fifteenth Report Un-American Activities, 1970, Report of the Senate Fact-Finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities, to the 1970 Regular Session of the California Legislature Sacramento, California, p. 105" and "Extent of Subversion in Campus Disorders, Part 2, August 19, 1969, about the same meeting
  4. the National Mobe and MCHR citations are found on Pages 8-9, New Mobe Staff Study, 1970, cited above. References about the Ayers/Young meeting can be found in reports by Accuracy in Media and America's Survival, Inc, www.usasurvival.org, and many newspaper columns available on the internet.
  5. Investigation of Attempts to Subvert the United States Armed Services, Part 3, Hearings, House Internal Security Committee HISC, May 9-10, June 1 & 20, 1972, p. 7398
  6. http://pnhp.org/about/board_of_directors.php
  7. Dem. Left, Winter 2007/8
  8. http://www.peoplesworld.org/conyers-spearheads-health-care-campaign/. PWW, http://www.peoplesworld.org/conyers-spearheads-health-care-campaign/, Carolyn Taylor March 26 2004]