Medicare for All comes to Michigan

by Kyle Minton and Will Toms

Medicare for All. The gateway drug to Socialism. You’ve heard about it, you’re down for a single-payer healthcare system, so what can you do to help make it a reality in your town?

Medicare for All Working Group at work.

What kind of work could you do with DSA?

Our big goal for 2019 is to convince every Michigan Democratic representative to the U.S. House to sign on to Rep. Pramila Jayapal’s new Medicare for All bill. This means Representatives Elissa Slotkin, Dan Kildee, and Hayley Stevens.

Since January we’ve bird-dogged both Rep. Stevens and Rep. Slotkin at their own town halls, asking them pointedly to sign on to the bill in front of sympathetic crowds. If organizing something like that sounds like fun, we’ll be hosting our own town hall in Livonia, inside Stevens’s district, and we need your help!

We’re also going door to door, canvassing area residents on Medicare for All. So if you want to meet your neighbors and walk around in the beautiful spring weather, this one’s for you.

The M4A group has also signed up to help the National Nurses Union on its House pressure campaign. We’ve done several “virtual canvasses” where members call in to Nancy Pelosi’s district to encourage her constituents to push her to support Jayapal’s bill. One of our members even talked to Pelosi’s neighbor, who was sympathetic to the cause (seriously!).

Maybe you’re interested in directly serving your community. We’re volunteering our labor at an upcoming free brake light replacement clinic and planning a health clinic this summer, where — along with our coalition partners and healthcare providers — we’ll offer routine health screens, run a debt clinic, and more! Maybe you’ve volunteered in the past; use your work skills to help folks in your own backyard!

We’ve also paired up with the Socialist Feminist working group on providing escorts for patients at abortion clinics, to show solidarity. We believe without abortion and reproductive health included, Medicare for All would be meaningless. We’ll be helping on more escorts as well as at the upcoming DSA-wide bowl-a-thon to raise funds for women who want but can’t afford an abortion.

All the hard work we’re doing aside, part of what socialism builds is a sense of community. That’s why we’re hosting our second happy hour at a bar in Detroit early next month. It’s a really relaxed way to meet some extraordinary people. Be a party planner, or just come out with a few friends and shoot some pool!

I hope you can see yourself in the work ahead, because all of this is powered by you. We just send the emails. So when you’re ready to join the movement, send us a quick note at healthcare@metrodetroitdsa.com, and come say hi at the next working group meeting.

Whether you’re a longtime activist or just chronically online, there’s room for you in this movement, and the first step is as easy as showing up. It’s where you’ll meet the Medicare for All working group, hear news from Lansing and Washington, and most importantly, assign yourself to a cool project. With your help, we’re winning health justice in the Midwest, and around the country.