These Socialist Health Care Workers Are the Future of the Medicare for All Fight

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      But now it does exist. After the conclusion of Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential run, Doctors for Bernie became the DSA Health Workers Collective, which describes itself as “a political home for all health workers building solidarity across disciplines to collectively fight for a health system that values people (patients and workers) over profits.”

      Tadepalli has been convinced of the need for single-payer health care — a comprehensive, universal public health insurance program that covers everything and everyone, funded through progressive taxation and free at the point of service — since she was a medical student in the early years of the Obama administration. “Once I started to learn about single-payer, I made a commitment to myself that if there’s one thing I want to be a part of in my life, it’s making that happen in our country.”

      In 2010, Tadepalli did a stint as an organizer for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), which had been organizing for single-payer health care for two decades already. During that time she traveled to Vermont, where there was a state single-payer campaign underway, and met Senator Bernie Sanders, who was one of its biggest proponents. “It was only ten years ago, but single-payer was not on anyone’s radar. It was a no-brainer, but everyone just said it was politically infeasible.” The Vermont single-payer campaign lost, and single-payer remained out of the question until Sanders’s first presidential campaign in 2016, when it was rebranded Medicare for All.

      In the decade after her visit to Vermont, Tadepalli ended up working with the Cambridge Health Alliance, where many of the main researchers are founders and members of PNHP. After that she worked in San Francisco, a city with extreme inequality and a large and concentrated homeless population. “That very much politicized me,” she says. It reminded her of the desperate poverty she had witnessed when she went as a child to visit India with her immigrant parents. “Leaving your home and stepping over bodies. It was like, ‘How is this happening?’ It was a capitalist dystopia.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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