Marilyn Clement, founder and National Coordinator of Healthcare-NOW!, passed away on Monday, August 3, 2009 surrounded by her children, Scott and Pam, her daughter-in-law Liz, and the caring thoughts of all of us who knew her, worked with her, and had come to love her.
Marilyn’s life and work was dedicated to social justice. She worked tirelessly to build, speak, and spread the word about meaningful civil rights and healthcare reform. Her leadership, vision, and passion helped to strengthen the recognition of healthcare as a human right throughout the nation.
A detailed statement about her life and work can be found here.
Marilyn wrote a number of articles on healthcare for this website. You can read them all here.
Healthcare-NOW! is a grassroots organization that addresses the health insurance crisis in the U.S. by educating and advocating for the passage of single-payer healthcare legislation, such as HR 676. We support building the movement necessary to implement a publicly-funded, single-payer healthcare system that is universal, equitable, transparent, accountable, comprehensive, and that removes financial and other barriers to the right to health.
Healthcare-NOW! is a 501c4 organization that is fueled by committed members and activists supporting single-payer healthcare. We are a highly decentralized organization with hundreds of active members spread all over the country. We firmly believe that bottom-up efforts are the only way to win single-payer, guaranteed, and universal healthcare. We aim to engage and empower leaders at the grassroots level who will understand the issue and implement a wide range of tactics to win national single-payer healthcare. These tactics include national days of action, supporting state single-payer campaigns, education, endorsements, divestment, strategy conferences, local coalition and chapter building, leadership trainings, collecting stories of those impacted by the healthcare crisis, and more. We believe that if grassroots activists have access to the technical tools and training needed to manage their database, websites, and online fundraising, they will become more effective local leaders. We do not endorse candidates or specific political parties.
Healthcare-NOW! was formed in 2004, originally under the name of the Campaign for a National Health Program NOW, to bring national attention to the health insurance crisis facing people in the United States and bring together a large movement for single-payer national healthcare reform. The first meeting of the coalition was the Campaign for a National Health Program NOW Conference: “Health Care Crisis and Election of 2004.” The Conference was a convergence of support from those that agree healthcare is human right. The Conference was attended by participants from various healthcare, labor, and faith-based communities along with Representative John Conyers, sponsor of HR 676, and Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
With unwavering resolve, Healthcare-NOW! has developed into the broadest coalition in support of single-payer healthcare, mobilizing a large community of advocates composed of organizers and activists in more than 300 cities in all 50 states. Healthcare-NOW! remains focused on representing the people’s movement for single-payer healthcare reform by actively working to educate the public about America’s healthcare crisis and to support HR 676.
Marilyn Clement, our National Coordinator, used her national contacts from a career of national organizing to form Healthcare-NOW!, specifically to educate the public about America’s healthcare crisis and to support HR 676. Our mission has not changed since. Ms. Clement has served in executive positions of major national movement organizations advocating for social justice and human rights, including: Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Center for Constitutional Rights, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and Women’s Division of the United Methodist Church.
The initial call for national organizing in support of HR 676 came from Rep. John Conyers, Congressional sponsor of HR 676. He argued that a single-payer bill could only pass with the support of a national movement. He first introduced HR 676 in 2004 with no intention, at that time, of moving it through the Congressional process. He knew the bill needed a movement behind it, and a change in administration, before the time would be right to move it through Congress.
Since then, Healthcare-NOW! has joined forces a strong coalition of organizations that support single-payer, universal healthcare. Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), who provide technical support for our movement, contribute policy support, speakers, and financial analysts towards our mission. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) provides grassroots support focused on electoral campaigns that may potentially elect pro-HR 676 candidates to office. The California Nurses Association (CNA) provides leadership in winning organized labor support for HR 676. The four organizations have formally joined forces under the name “Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care.”
“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are also an endorser of Amnesty International’s Healthcare is a Human Right Coalition.