The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Laura Bonham, PDA Communications Coordinator, (435) 336-2123
Tim Carpenter, PDA National Director, (413)-320-2015

Citizens in 18 States Push for State-Level Single-Payer Healthcare


In Wayne, Pennsylvania, on April 10, 2010,
in conjunction with a regional conference of the Progressive Democrats
of America, citizen representatives of fourteen states gathered and
decided to begin a more coordinated collaboration aimed at passage of
state-based, single-payer healthcare legislation. Groups in four
additional states are also involved.

On April 23rd the Vermont House followed that
state's Senate in passing single-payer legislation. Bills are moving
forward in several other states.

At the Wayne meeting, those assembled drafted
a "Declaration of Health Independence and Security," which citizens
plan to present in each state on July 4th of this year. Signatures are
being collected on the declaration here:

Donna Smith, Co-Chair of PDA's "Healthcare
Not Warfare" campaign, said: "Our new resolve to work in a coordinated
campaign for state single-payer in all of these states, does not mean we
will stop advocating for national single-payer healthcare. In fact, we
hope that successes in the first few states will energize the national
campaign and persuade by demonstration."

The text of the declaration follows:

Declaration of Health Independence
and Security

When in the course of human events, it
becomes necessary for citizens of this nation and its separate but equal
states to transform conditions related to the common good within our
control and necessary in order to assure the basic human rights of all,
recognition of our common humanity and a decent respect to the opinions
of humankind compel us to declare those conditions for which we demand
such a transformation.

Healthcare is a basic human right. To this
end, we the undersigned citizen representatives of these assembled
states, declare our dedication to the transformation of the
profit-driven healthcare system into one of our shared humanity under a
social insurance model-a publicly funded, privately and publicly
delivered system, equally available to all. Current expenditures on
healthcare can and must fund this systemic transformation.

Working in our individual and several states,
we will educate our fellow residents, petition our legislators for our
collective redress of grievances under the current system, and pursue
passage of citizen-driven healthcare policy legislation.

We hold these truths still to be
self-evident, that all men and women are created equal and have certain
unalienable rights. Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness, and that in order to enjoy these rights, access to
healthcare without regard to financial or any other barriers must be

Signed this 10th day of April, 2010, at
Central Baptist Church in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

Donna Smith, Healthcare NOT Warfare Co-chair,
Laurel, Maryland

Norman Solomon, Healthcare NOT Warfare
Point Reyes, California

Chuck Pennacchio, Healthcare4AllPA, Executive
Pipersville, Pennsylvania

Ben Day, Mass-Care: The Massachusetts
Campaign for Single Payer Health Care Executive Director,
Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

States represented: West Virginia, Virginia,
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio,
California, New York, Colorado, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota

Progressive Democrats of America was founded
in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to
build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate
elites--with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just
private interests. PDA is a grassroots PAC operating inside the
Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our
inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority
will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive

For over two decades, the party declined as
its leadership listened more to
the voices of corporations than those of Americans. PDA strives to
rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up--from every
congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors of
power in Washington, where we work arm in arm with the Congressional
Progressive Caucus. In just five years, PDA and its allies have shaken
up the political status quo--on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Medicare
for all, voter rights, accountability, and economic and environmental

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and U.S. politics by working inside and outside of the party by working to elect empowered progressives and by building the progressive movement in solidarity with with peace, justice, civil rights, environmental, and other reform efforts. For more information about PDA, please see