Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Doc Young frets that politicians, including HHS Sec'y-designate Daschle, don't grasp that people really do support single-payer health insurance


Then-State Sen. Barack Obama helps celebrate
Doc Young's 80th birthday in 2003.

by Ken

We just heard from our friend Illinois progressive John Laesch on the opportunity presented by the Blagojevich mess to bring about meaningful campaign finance reform, in the form of serious public financing. Now John wants to introduce us to a special friend of his, Dr. Quentin Young, national coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP, "Our Mission: Single-Payer National Health Insurance").

John tells us that Doc Young "is often credited with starting the movement for single-payer healthcare in America and organizing behind strong progressive candidates." (Do we have to add that he endorsed John for Congress?) The doctor, who celebrated his 85th birthday this year, and only recently retired from medical practice (though not from public service), was a friend as well as the personal physician of Chicago newspaper legends Studs Terkel and Mike Royko, and apparently is something of an Illinois legend himself.

As a longtime advocate of single-payer health insurance, which he calls "the only answer to our health-care needs today," Doc Young is encouraged by the prospect of serious health-care reform and by the Obama transition's call for "house parties" to gather feedback, but he's concerned that the mind of Health and Human Services Secretary-designate Tom Daschle is already made up, in favor of a plan that "keeps private insurance companies very much alive," which he describes as "a fatal decision."

The doctor believes that people who understand the options have a clear preference for single-payer, but that this somehow never reaches the awareness of our political leaders. So he was persuaded to madk this video, no. 9 in a series of "Single Payer Moments" from PNHP:

Presenting Doc Young to Daily Kos readers, CatJab wrote:
Daily Kos, Meet Dr. Quentin Young

by CatJab
Mon Dec 15, 2008 at 12:03:02 PM PST

Our work with Illinois Media Progressives has given us the opportunity to meet some of the most dedicated and quality people in the health care reform movement. From Rep. John Conyers, IL Rep. Mary Flowers, Kay Tillow, Dr. Claudia Fegan, the list is long.

With the call out for house parties on the President-Elect's site, change.gov, we had the opportunity, much to our delight and excitement to speak to and videotape a message from Dr. Quentin Young, National Coordinator for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).

-- CatJab and Ozzie

For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Young, he has been a tireless advocate for single payer health care for over twenty years, but that is just one item on a CV that includes:

* Practicing medicine for over sixty years (he's recently retired)

* President of the Medical Committee for Human Rights (physicians who traveled to treat victims of racial violence) during the most tumultuous years of the civil rights movement, 1963-69

* Personal physician for Dr. King when he was in Chicago. (Dr. Young was marching alongside Dr. King when he was attacked in Chicago. Can you think of a better guy to be next to you when you're hit by a brick?)

* Chair of the Chicago Health Department under Mayor Harold Washington, and personal physician to Studs Terkel, and Mike Royko as well.

Doc Young celebrated his 85th birthday this year, and his energy and enthusiasm puts us both to shame.

Doc Young with a pol he admires as a true progressive
and has worked closely with, man-in-the-news Illinois
Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, the likely soon-to-be governor

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At 12:04 AM, Blogger Mary said...

although Studs Terkel andDr Quentin Young are liberal icons it would take a stronger message to convince the conservative neighbors of my community. as a clinical reg nurse of many decades I know that single payer health care is the only solution but I need additional tools in order to change the minds of my neighbors. Mary

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps... RepublicansforSinglePayer.com might help, or the numerous CEOs like Glen Barton, formerly of Caterpilar, who supports it.

Or the fiscally responsible nature of single payer.

Or the patriotic duty to take care of our fellow citizens first.

Did you know the Iraqi constitution gurantees health care?

Or your own personal experiences with our dysfunctional system.

If you truly support single payer, you will be very effective.

Host a single payer house party.


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