Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning to introduce the legislation “within a couple of weeks,” and Vermont’s House representative, Peter Welch, said he would introduce the same bill in that chamber. (Photo by Erik McGregor/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Resister’s Digest: Bringing Single-Payer Healthcare to Life

Single-payer healthcare is back in play after Trumpcare went down in flames.

BY Theo Anderson

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“America is ready for single-payer. Democrats must fight for it NOW.”

Resister’s Digest is a weekly roundup that spotlights ways readers can connect with and learn about campaigns to oppose President Donald Trump’s agenda, protect human rights and promote equality. Have questions or tips? Contact writer Theo Anderson at [email protected]

“Medicare for All” is rising from the wreckage of the Trump administration’s failure to repeal Obamacare last week. As President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence tried to shift the blame, and Trump’s people talked about working with moderate Democrats to pass their agenda, both progressive and mainstream publications noted the renewed energy for a single-payer healthcare system. 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced at a town hall meeting on Saturday that he would introduce the legislation “within a couple of weeks,” and Vermont’s House representative, Peter Welch, said he would introduce the same bill in that chamber. 

Three organizations—Justice Democrats, Brand New Congress and National Nurses United—are collaborating on a petition drive. “The political tide has turned on health care,” it reads. “America is ready for single-payer. Democrats must fight for it NOW.”

On Wednesday, Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE), a single-payer healthcare campaign led by Popular Resistance, will lobby Congress. Volunteers will distribute educational materials on the benefits of “Medicare for All” to members of both the House and the Senate. Details here.

HOPE also organizes bi-weekly conference calls with experts to “discuss strategy and plan actions to change the political culture in the United State so that [Medicare for All] is the only politically viable solution.” Calls are scheduled for Monday and April 10. Go here to register.

Reviving resistence to the Keystone XL pipeline

There will be an online strategy session Monday night focused on fighting the Trump administration’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline permit last week. Several leaders of the NoKXL movement will speak, including Bill McKibben of 350.org, Jane Kleeb of BOLD Alliance and Lindsey Allen of Rainforest Action Network. The coalition notes that “resistance is growing among ranchers in Nebraska, Indigenous communities along the pipeline route, and in the Alberta tar sands.” Find details and sign up to join the call here. Other excellent resources for ongoing coverage of the resistance to the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines are the Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Rising Media.

Gorsuch nomination sputtering?

The People’s Defense is planning a day of actions against Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, on Saturday, April 1. Events are scheduled in cities across the nation; find details here. Indivisible has updated its sample script for talking to your representatives about Gorsuch. Find contact information here.

Late last week, a coalition of progressive groups sent a letter to Democratic senators warning that “anything less than a full commitment to resistance, including a filibuster of Judge Gorsuch, would be a betrayal of the communities you represent.” The letter came in response to a report by Politico that said Democratic leaders were considering a deal to confirm Gorsuch in exchange for concessions from the GOP.

The same day, Sen. Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York and the Senate minority leader, announced that he will lead a filibuster of the nomination, and centrist Democrats “who appeared open to backing Gorsuch after meeting with him personally are now starting to pull back,” The Hill reported. The Democratic filibuster means that 60 senators will have to agree to bring the nomination to a vote before the Senate can move forward on it. Currently, Republicans only have 52.

Take two for MLK campaign

Fight for $15 and Black Lives Matter are joining forces to sponsor rallies for economic and racial justice next Tuesday, April 4, the 49th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King. The rallies will take place in two dozen cities; sign up here. King had recently helped launch the Poor People’s Campaign with a rally in Washington, D.C., at the time of his death. The campaign’s demands included $30 billion of investment in anti-poverty programs, a guaranteed annual wage for all Americans and the construction of 500,000 affordable housing units per year. Rev. William Barber, who will lead the rally in Memphis, Tennessee, where King was shot, told the Associated Press that King was “connecting black and white poverty and saying black and white poor people need to be allies.” King was in Memphis in April 1968 to lend support to a strike by the city’s sanitation workers.

Black Lives Matter also has an open house in Washington, D.C., on Thursday and a rally in New York City on Saturday. 

Anti-Rauner event and advocacy fair in Chicago

On Thursday, Illinois Working Together and several unions will sponsor a “Do Your Job!” rally focused on Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is “holding hostage the people of Illinois” and “has failed to settle contracts with five unions that represent the overwhelming majority of women and people of color in state government.” Details here. On Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2, there will be a volunteer and advocacy fair, “Onward Together,”  in Chicago. It aims to “connect organizations in the Chicago area with the people who are eager to volunteer and help protect our most vulnerable communities.” The Saturday event, which will be held at the National Museum of Mexican Art, will focus on refugee and immigrant rights organizations. The Sunday event, held at the Center on Halsted, will feature a range of organizations, including the ACLU of Illinois, Equality Illinois, Planned Parenthood and the Sierra Club. Find details here.

A government of scientists

314 Action, an organization founded late last year, aims to recruit more scientists to run for public office. Its mission is to promote scientific literacy and “the responsible use of data driven, fact based approaches in public policy.” It is particularly interested in climate change and the epidemic of gun violence. Connect with the organization here

Theo Anderson, an In These Times writing fellow, has contributed to the magazine since 2010. He has a Ph.D. in modern U.S. history from Yale and writes on the intellectual and religious history of conservatism and progressivism in the United States. Follow him on Twitter @Theoanderson7 and contact him at [email protected]

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