Healthcare-NOW! is Not Mobilizing for June 25th Rally in DC

This statement has been prepared in response to the many inquiries as to why organizations supporting single-payer national health care are not mobilizing to support the June 25th rally in Washington DC organized by Health Care for America Now.


As you know, the single-payer movement is driven by a diverse coalition of doctors, nurses, labor, civic and faith groups, and concerned Americans advocating for single-payer national health care, improved Medicare for all. This year, key organizations, including Healthcare-NOW!, the California Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Program, Progressive Democrats of America, and 80 other member organizations have come together under the umbrella of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care (LCGHC), the National Single Payer Alliance.

This alliance operates with a decision making body of member organizations that support single-payer legislation HR 676 and S703. We all agree that single-payer is the only answer to our health care crisis. All other reform options fall short of the single-payer standards of universality and cost-effectiveness.

With our commitment to single-payer, we are widening the debate to include advocacy for a guaranteed health care system for all people in the United States. We have seen a powerful response from the public of this nation as we stand firmly behind single-payer as the best way to achieve health care as a human right. Especially in recent weeks, this strategy has proved fruitful in raising consciousness for the demand for a single-payer system that removes profit and waste from the system to guarantee health care to everyone. We have 82 cosponsors on HR 676 and continue to pull in resolutions from unions, faith groups, and other organizations regularly. We are having the first official congressional hearing on single-payer in the House on June 10th.

In the face of other reform proposals that maintain the private insurance industry, single-payer is still the preferred reform for the American people and physicians. Many in the Health Care for All movement agree that single-payer is the gold standard for reform, but some coalitions and individuals are now supporting the choice of private insurance or a public option. While the LCGHC has formally decided not to support a public option that maintains wasteful private insurance companies, we know that there are many people who feel that advocating for the public option may lead to meaningful reform.

The LCGHC will not be supporting any rallies, events, lobby days, or other activities for the public option reform for the following reasons:

1) Many member organizations feel that disrupting an event organized to support the public option will be counterproductive to our work in building the movement for single-payer. Many public option supporters are also single-payer supporters. We don’t want to alienate those who still support single-payer despite other reform strategies that they hope will lead to meaningful reform.

2) Previous events that were attended by both Health Care for America Now and Single-Payer groups caused confusion. Healthcare-NOW!, with a similar name, received many emails concerned that Healthcare-NOW! was no longer supporting single-payer. We don’t want to contribute to the confusion between two very different policies, single-payer and the public option.

3) We want to focus on building the movement for single-payer and the best way we can do that is by focusing on single-payer actions in DC and locally. The events committee of the Leadership Conference is working to coordinate actions that will support single-payer. We hope you will join us as we move forward. It is very heartening to see the energy and support nationwide as we build the grassroots energy to insert this much needed solution into the health reform discussion. We do not want to bury single-payer support within principles, no matter how politically practical, that will not solve our health care crisis.

There will be a rally for Human Rights in Washington DC sponsored by the National Health Care for the Homeless Council on Friday, June 26th at 6 p.m. You are invited to join advocates, service providers and consumers to speak out for the right to health care, housing, and livable incomes.

We hope that everyone will mark their calendars for a National Call-In Day for single-payer on June 22nd, and again on July 30th celebrating Medicare’s Birthday in DC and around the country. Stay tuned for details.

Thank you for helping to build the single-payer movement!

In common cause,

Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, Steering Committee
Healthcare-NOW!, National Staff


  1. care4all on June 15, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    Full post:

    “This year, key organizations, including Healthcare-NOW!, the California Nurses Association, Physicians for a National Health Program, Progressive Democrats of America, and 80 other member organizations have come together under the umbrella of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care (LCGHC), the National Single Payer Alliance.”

    PLEASE PLEASE get all of these single payer organizations together for another, exclusively single payer, Rally in Washington, DC. Time is of the essence! We’ll all come and march. We need you all to organize it and we’ll be there! We’ve got to mobilize the public! They are on our side if we can mobilize them.

    • Katie Robbins on June 17, 2009 at 7:47 pm

      Medicare Birthday Rally and Lobby Day on July 30th – Come out and support single-payer for all!

      • margaret on June 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm

        I am sorry to ask this but isn’t a Thursday in the middle of summer less likely to have as many people able to attend? I suggest a weekend day so that people can get there.
        And I agree that we should try to get all the groups to organize together-so many people want a way to get out there and show support for single payer.

  2. ralphbon on June 16, 2009 at 9:04 am

    I fully support this position but am commenting mostly to test out my gravatar. :-)

  3. Denise in Honolulu on June 17, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Those in D.C. that have the power to give us single payer health care are NOT listening and we are being ignored.

    We already know the majority of the U.S. people are for it, just not those with the power to make it happen.

    It is critical that we keep those with the deep pockets (from previous raids on the taxpayers) from thwarting us in our goals, but how? Time is running out.

  4. Bobbie on June 17, 2009 at 2:34 am

    I’m a paying member of Healthcare Now, but feel strongly that this is misguided. I will be there June 25th and expect to see anyone who feels strongly that our system is broken to be there as well. We are in this together, and need a strong show of force. This smells like the circular firing squad to me.

    Be with me at the June 25th rally. This is our time to work TOGETHER.

  5. Eliza Jane Dodd on June 17, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Bernie Sanders needs us all to sign his petition for HR676 @ his Web site and any thing you want to comment on he can give to congress why we need HR676 and any health care insurance stories or otherwise .Please go there and sign his petition ..its very easy ..Bernie Sanders from Vermont ..make the call today to the comment line too 202-456-1414 @ the White House jamm the lines today !

  6. L.A. on June 18, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    I agree with Bobbie. Washington needs to see the sheer number of people who care about this issue. Way to show solidarity over health care reform. You’re undermining the whole health care fight by not participating.

    With your attitude, we will be divided and conquered, yet again.

  7. palmel4 on June 19, 2009 at 11:09 am

    I agree with Bobbie as well. There is strength in numbers. I won’t be able to go to Washington, but we can still write and call congress.

  8. Nico on June 20, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    People who think LCGHC’s position is misguided are ignoring the fact that the public option is in no way actually public. It has a nice public-sounding name, but it’s not what its name says. If we know that already, what we should be doing is winning all good people AWAY from 25 June and TO July 30th. Besides, the decision’s already been made. We should stop pretending and start fighting. Call spades spades, public option fascist and single-payer the answer! If we don’t we just continue delusion.

  9. Randy Shannon on June 23, 2009 at 9:26 am

    I agree that the single payer solution is the only workable answer to our healthcare crisis and that the public option keeping the insurance companies is doomed to failure. We must be clear on this and we must continually spread this message.

    Now why should we not spread this message among our friends and natural allies in the unions and MoveOn that will be attending a rally for healthcare reform?

    Are HCAN and the AFL-CIO the enemies of single payer or the enemies of the insurance companies? They are going to be in DC to rally against the insurance companies. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    The leadership is making a tactical error by not creatively engaging the HCAN public action to win new allies. We will never reach critical mass without the unions, and we can’t wait to engage them until after they agree with us, we must engage them before they agree with us!

  10. Marcia Everett on June 23, 2009 at 9:30 am

    1) where does the Citizen’s Alliance for National Healthcare fit in? Is it an organization that has morphed? Is it a separate organization?

    2) We need a door to door campaign, just like the one that got our president elected. I suggest a sound bite type of flier. I’m trying to create one myself but I’d rather a professional did it. It needs to specifically address the crude comments made by Fox news. It needs to address choices, privacy (I’m amazed that people do not know that there is an agency that insurance people use now that has all of your health info and it decides the price you pay for life insurance) So when Fox says the government will know your business its a joke! It should also address the contributions given to the lawmakers by pharma and insurance companies.

    It needs to do this simplistically though, not in a long letter. and the flip side should have a GINAT HR676 that you can tape to your windows and to your car windows. Then we can have mini neighbor hood groups go around and give them to people and talk about it. Also those training sessions should be on Youtube or something so that we can all get trained.
    We have got to get better at media hype! I know we want to tell the TRUTH but we need to do it the way TRUTH about cigarettes, catchy, fun rememberable. If we need to hire an ad exec then that’s where we should go.

    • Marcia Everett on June 23, 2009 at 9:34 am

      one more thing, this letter should have the links to call all congress people, because we need to hit not just our own but also the committee members. We need to hit them with Santa Claus style letters and postcards. They need to not have any room left in their offices to work.

      We could get some preprinted postcards with several different legislators, to take around door to door, and get the person to pay for the stamp and card $1.00 ought to more than cover it. Have that person write in their name and address and we mail it for them.

  11. Marcia Everett on June 23, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Please keep a list of who agrees with your organization and who doesn’t. The names are way too similar and we need a place to check in to see whether we should support them or not.

    Sorry, if you can edit these to all one letter feel free.

  12. ILA JONES on June 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    The decision by Healthcare-now to ‘stay home’ from ‘option’ rallies was MADE BY FOOLS!

    The same things happened during the civil rights movement and the anti war period. By ‘staying home, pouting, and holding one’s breath,’ because things weren’t just perfect, the war was prolonged and civil rights nearly ‘ground’ to a halt!

    The criminals in congress didn’t get to see the actual power — because some groups had their ‘noses’ out of joint! YEARS later, these diverse groups finally GOT IT..joined together and marched on Washington. After that it didn’t take long.

    GET OUTTA THE OFFICE AND JOIN THE CROWD. Let them see the numbers. Hey, they don’t even know you’re ‘out there!’

    If Healthcare-Now thinks that mere faxes and letters are used for much more than toilet paper, it’s leaders have been sitting in front of too many computer screens!

    If these groups don’t coalesce into a visible voting block, YOU’LL HAVE ‘GUARANTEED’ NOTHING!

    OH, but you will always be happy in the memory
    THAT YOU WERE ‘RIGHT’ while going bankrupt!

  13. Fed Up in Florida on July 3, 2009 at 12:38 am

    I am not sure if there was any media coverage of the June 25-27th demonstration in DC…I watched the news, but the national news only seemed to be covering Michael Jackson, so I never even saw any snippet about the Healthcare for Homeless demonstration. I would be interested in seeing who actually showed if someone has a link to post.

    Regarding July 30th, I agree with Ila Jones’ post above. At this point in time, there needs to be huge amounts (like thousands) of people filling the streets of DC to get any attention from Obama, lawmakers, and the media. There should really be no excuse for not having thousands of people turnout (other than apathy)…we have the internet and cell phones to help people organize…in the 60s they only had land line phones. As for organizing this rally, I have seen nothing on this website saying when or where (other than ‘on 7/30/09’) the actual event will take place. I do plan to attend as I will be in the area. I would assume that it would be in the national mall area somewhere between Washington monument and the Capitol, but I am only speculating. Can one of the Healthcare-Now organizers actually let people know what the definite plans are for July 30th so that people can begin to organize…otherwise, it will be a flop and we will wind up with nothing, not even a poorly constructed “public option.”