When Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) announced the launch of H.R.1384, “Medicare for All,” on the Capitol steps on Feb. 27, 2019, it was a major step toward a socialist America.
Jayapal was surrounded by more than 100 supporters, many from groups such as National Nurses United, the Center for Popular Democracy, Our Revolution, Coalition of Labor Union Women, and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer.
Appropriately, all of the organizations represented are controlled, or at least heavily influenced, by America’s largest Marxist organization, the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), which can quite rightly claim credit for the socialist single-payer movement euphemistically referred to as “Medicare for All,” now reaching a peak across the United States.
For decades, even most Democratic representatives shied away from any mention of government-run health care. But now, more than 100 Democratic congressmembers have signed on to a bill that would eventually eliminate the private health insurance industry and give the federal government near total control over every American citizen’s health care.
What happened to cause such a massive shift?
All this has been a long time in the making. The roots of H.R.1384 can be traced back to the 1930s in South Side, Chicago, when a young Hyde Park High School student named Quentin Young first joined the Young Communist League.
After World War II, Young graduated from Northwestern Medical School and did his residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Young joined the American Medical Association and served as chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Cook County, where he helped establish the Department of Occupational Medicine. Later, Young became a clinical professor of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Illinois Medical Center and senior attending physician at Michael Reese Hospital.
In 1997, he was inducted as a master of the American College of Physicians, and in 1998, he served as president of the American Public Health Association.
Parallel to his stellar medical career, Young also was a prominent hard-left activist. He was close to the Communist Party for decades, and, in 1968, pleaded the Fifth Amendment and refused to testify when the House Un-American Activities Committee accused him of membership in the Bethune Club—a Communist Party group for medical practitioners at Cook County Hospital.
In 1968, while likely still a Communist Party member, Young founded the Medical Committee for Human Rights, one of the first American socialized-medicine advocacy groups in the modern era.
In the late 1970s, Young was affiliated with the New American Movement (NAM), an alliance of former student radicals and ex-communists. In 1982, NAM joined the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee to form the DSA, which would remain Young’s ideological home until his death in March 2016. In 1987, Young co-founded Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which now has more than 21,000 members and chapters across the United States.
Under Young’s guidance, the DSA became the major driving force behind the campaign for socialized medicine in the United States.
According to PNHP’s website:
“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.”
Los Angeles physician Steve Tarzynski, then a member of the DSA National Political Committee and chair of the DSA National Health Care Task Force, wrote in the January/February 1994 edition of the DSA magazine Democratic Left:
“We’ve met some of the modest goals that the national leadership set when DSA decided to make support for a single-payer Canadian-style health care system our major issue.
“DSA members have served on the Clinton Health Care Task Force and in the leadership and rank and file of national and state single-payer coalitions. Perhaps most importantly, in 1991, we organized a 22-city national tour of over forty Canadian health experts (from our sibling party, the New Democrats) that helped to galvanize the single-payer movement into action. No other organization was in a position to carry out such a major tour. We have done a good job as the socialist current within the single-payer movement, but still have significant opportunities to improve DSA locals’ level of activism and our recruitment of activists into DSA through this issue.
“The most delicate aspect of our work is how we balance our efforts in improving the Clinton proposal and pushing for single-payer. This is not a new dilemma for the left. The tension between reform and revolution has existed within every socialist movement in Western industrialized democracies. It will always be with us. The solution lies in putting into practice Michael Harrington’s notion of ‘visionary gradualism.’”
Hillary Clinton’s health reforms eventually failed, but the DSA refused to give up. The comrades pushed more initiatives through allies in Congress, such as Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
According to the summer 2009 edition of Democratic Left:
“DSA reaffirms its support for single-payer health insurance as the most just, cost-effective and rational method for creating a universal health care system in the United States.
“In the House of Representatives, John Conyers has introduced H.R.676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. This bill has 77 co-sponsors. In the Senate, Bernie Sanders has introduced S.703, the American Health Security Act of 2009. His bill has not yet attracted co-sponsors.
“These two pieces of legislation take different approaches to universal health insurance, but both take for-profit insurance companies out of the picture.
“DSA asks our locals to contact their senators and representatives and encourage them to co-sponsor these bills if they have not already done so.”
Meanwhile, Young was using personal relationships to further the cause.
Young was a long-time friend and political mentor to former President Barack Obama, a fact confirmed in a March 2009 interview with Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman:
Amy Goodman: “You’ve been a longtime friend of Barack Obama.”
Quentin Young: “Yeah.”
Ms. Goodman: “How has he changed over the years?”
Mr. Young: “Well, Barack Obama, as we know, was a community organizer, a very lofty calling, in my book, and he made the decision, when the opportunity came, that he could get more done politically, and he accepted the nomination for the seat in the state Senate. It’s not that long ago, really. It’s about six, eight years ago.
“Barack Obama, in those early days—influenced, I hope, by me and others—categorically said single payer was the best way, and he would inaugurate it if he could get the support, meaning majorities in both houses, which he’s got, and the presidency, which he’s got. And he said that on more than one occasion, and it represented the very high-grade intelligence we all know Barack has.”
Obama’s Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was not single-payer. It was an incremental, halfway measure that satisfied few on the left and drove health insurance costs through the roof.
Gerald Friedman is a Massachusetts labor economist and DSA member. Writing in Democratic Left in October 2013, Friedman explained that when Obamacare inevitably failed, fully socialized health care would be the next option:
“After a century of struggle, the ACA [Affordable Care Act] commits the United States to providing universal access to health care. This is a great achievement, one to be treasured and nurtured.
“Now the real fight begins, to turn this commitment into a reality that the ACA itself cannot produce. Barack Obama was right the first time: only a single-payer program can provide universal coverage, and only a single-payer program can control costs. The ACA may be the last bad idea that Americans try; after it fails, we will finally do the right thing: single-payer health insurance.”
That’s where the United States is now. The DSA and its friends in Congress have so butchered the finest health system in the world, so driven affordable care beyond the reach of millions of Americans, that government-run health care now looks like a viable option to many.
If the United States doesn’t change course toward a more humane, affordable, and innovative free-market health system, it may soon be too late.
More than 350 million Americans are on the brink of losing their high-quality health care and their liberty to a plan hatched by a handful of Chicago Marxists.
Such a massive fraud against the American people can’t be allowed to succeed.
Trevor Loudon is an author, filmmaker, and public speaker from New Zealand. For more than 30 years, he has researched radical left, Marxist, and terrorist movements and their covert influence on mainstream politics.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.