For Immediate Release


Mike Hersh, Communications Director:

Donna Smith, Executive Director

PDA, Allied Groups Launch Joint Effort for Single-Payer Healthcare

WASHINGTON - Fired up by a successful Inaugural Week grassroots summit, Progressive Democrats of America is joining with allies from labor, healthcare and the faith community to launch a joint effort for passage of HR 676, single-payer healthcare for all Americans, in this congressional session.

PDA, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee, Healthcare NOW!, Physicians for a National Health Program, the All Unions Committee for Single Payer H.R. 676 and the California School Employee Association will launch the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care at a press conference Wednesday, Jan. 28, at 10:30 a.m. in 2226 Rayburn House Office Building.

"We had a series of very inspiring and energizing meetings and events leading up to the inauguration," said PDA Executive Director Tim Carpenter. "We're now channeling that excitement into action to stimulate the economy by removing the huge drag on business that is the current healthcare system, and replacing it with a system that guarantees healthcare to all Americans while containing costs. It is the single most important step the new administration and Congress can take to provide a stimulus to employers and financial relief to families across all income levels."

Said Danielle Alexander of Physicians for a National Health Program: "With 46 million uninsured Americans, 22,000 deaths a year due to lack of health insurance, and over half of personal bankruptcies caused by medical debt, it is clear that healthcare reform should remain central within an economic recovery package."

Following the press conference, the Leadership Conference will hold a luncheon briefing for members of Congress and their staffs, to begin at noon in 2237 Rayburn HOB. The briefing on "Economic Solutions through Healthcare Reform" will be moderated by Geri Jenkins, RN, of the California Nurses Association Council of Presidents. Speakers will include: Walter Tsou, MD, MPH, former Health Commissioner of Philadelphia and national board advisor of Physicians for a National Health Program; Don DeMoro, co-author of "Single Payer/ Medicare for All: An Economic Stimulus Plan for the Nation," from the Institute for Health and Socio-Economic Policy; and Ronald Hikel, former deputy minister of health of Manitoba, co-chair of the Council of Deputy Ministers of Health, and legislative director for Rep. Eric Massa.



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Progressive Democrats of America is a grassroots PAC that works both inside the Democratic Party and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our goal: Elect a permanent, progressive majority in 2008. PDA's advisory board includes seven members of Congress and activist leaders such as Tom Hayden, Medea Benjamin, Thom Hartmann and Rev. Lennox Yearwood. More info:

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