Single-payer supporters to rally at March 23 health forum in Des Moines, Iowa

March 19, 2009

Ronald Lind, M.D.
Jess Fiedorowicz, M.D.,
Lisa Nilles, M.D.
Mark Almberg, PNHP, (312) 782-6006,


Physicians, nurses and health reform advocates to urge enactment of 'an improved Medicare for All,' decry outsized influence of corporate medicine at regional meeting


Press conference and rally to express support for single-payer national health insurance and to protest the "marginalization of majority opinion" at Monday's White House Forum on Health Care Reform at the Polk County Convention Complex in Des Moines, Iowa, at 9 a.m. CDT.

The forum will be hosted by Iowa Gov. Chet Culver. Nancy-Ann DeParle, the director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform, will represent the Obama-Biden administration. U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin are also expected to attend.

Spokespersons for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and other advocates of single-payer national health insurance, sometimes called an improved Medicare for All, will urge that single payer be "on the table" as a full-fledged option and will decry the outsized role of the private health insurance industry, Big Pharma, and other representatives of corporate medicine at the White House-sponsored forum, one of five that are being across the country.

Geri Jenkins, president of the National Nurses Organizing Committee (NNOC), will also speak at the press conference and rally.

Physicians wearing their white coats and RNs in their scrubs, along with other health reform advocates, will assert that national health insurance is being accorded a minor, marginalized role at the forum, even though surveys show two-thirds of Americans and 59 percent of U.S. physicians support it.

Rally participants will demand that the single-payer model be given pride of place in the health care debate, given that model's proven effectiveness in providing universal, comprehensive care; its ability to contain costs; and the fact that its annual savings in administrative costs -- $400 billion -- will mean that it will require no increase in U.S. health spending.


Ronald Lind, M.D., an anesthesiologist in St. Charles, Iowa.
Jess G. Fiedorowicz, M.D., a psychiatrist and clinician investigator at the University of Iowa.
Lisa Nilles, a pediatrician and chaplain in Minneapolis, Minn.
Geri Jenkins, RN, president, National Nurses Organizing Committee.
Leslie Heemsbergen, RN, 27-year Iowa nurse.
Other health professionals and representatives of organized labor.


9 a.m. CDT, Monday, March 23


Polk County Convention Complex, 5th Ave. and Grand Ave., downtown Des Moines, immediately outside main entrance.

Physicians for a National Health Program (, a membership organization of over 15,000 physicians, supports a single-payer national health insurance program. PNHP is headquartered in Chicago and has chapters across the United States. To contact a physician-spokesperson in your area, contact or call (312) 782-6006.