Develop “healthcare struggles”

BY:Molly Nagin| May 17, 2024
Develop “healthcare struggles”


This piece is a contribution to the Pre-Convention Discussion for our 32nd National Convention. During Pre-Convention Discussion, all aspects of the party’s program, strategy, and tactics are up for consideration and debate. The ideas presented here are those of the author or authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Communist Party USA, its membership, or their elected leadership bodies. — Editors

Let’s update and expand our party’s analysis of “Healthcare Struggles.” The party program should emphasize the role of special oppression in this discussion. Racist medical experimentation undergirds today’s medical research, and the history of redlining still erodes today’s working-class health. The struggle to expand Medicaid is still underway in one in five states, and medical debt tied to credit scores remains ruinous for working people. Medical deserts faced by immigrants, women, and LGBTQ people are expanding, as more and more people cannot access needed care. Direct care workers are unpaid and underpaid, which fundamentally threatens the hard-fought independence of the elderly and people with disabilities.

Furthermore, let’s clarify that working-class people, including Republican party voters in red and purple states, overwhelmingly view healthcare as a social good, not a consumer good. People of all stripes are frustrated by the costs and complexities of our system. Systemic inefficiencies, pay-to-play terms-of-entry, and the bourgeois culture of rugged individualism led to the social murder of over 1.1 million people to COVID-19.

Let’s more clearly chart the way forward, opposing billionaire hospital executives, insurance CEOs, and Big Pharma. Let’s develop our analysis on the sector of the capitalist class most involved in health injustice, such as the Heritage Foundation, and, most critically, the special unity required to overcome these challenges.

As communists, we believe healthcare is an inalienable, basic right, not a benefit. Healthcare should not be tied to employment, personal wealth, or the politics of a state. After all, how can there be life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness without universal, simple, and affordable healthcare?

While the extreme right manipulates the term “socialized medicine” to scare voters, make no mistake, we cannot tinker around the edges of this system. It must be overhauled. However, we should not be attached to language. We should organize around the messaging that works. We should bring the stories of our experiences in this appalling system to light. We should walk side-by-side with those who face special oppressions and build the broadest coalitions possible – until we win.

The U.S. is far behind other capitalist nations on this issue. Could the CPUSA form a healthcare commission and develop our national strategy, maybe even launch a winnable campaign?



    Molly is a red-diaper baby and club organizer of the Cleveland, OH chapter of CPUSA. She works by trade as a massage therapist and grassroots organizer. Currently, Molly is working on issues of mass incarceration, police brutality, and criminal in-justice at the level of city and county government systems. She also hosts a communist book club to help pass down the knowledge of communist elders and ancestors to her generation.


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