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Dr. Quentin Young, Longtime Obama Confidante and Physician to MLK, Criticizes Obama’s Rejection of Single-Payer Healthcare

from DemocracyNow.org

from Newly Formed 150,000-Strong Nurses’ Union Pushes for Single-Payer Healthcare

At the healthcare summit itself, initially not a single advocate for single-payer healthcare was invited. Congress member John Conyers is the sponsor HR 676, legislation that seeks to create a single-payer program. But when Conyers directly asked President Obama at a Congressional Black Caucus meeting if he could attend the summit, he was not immediately invited.

Conyers had asked to bring Dr. Marcia Angell, the first woman editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the most prestigious medical journal in the country, and he asked to bring Dr. Quentin Young, perhaps the most well-known single-payer advocate in America. Dr. Young was Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s doctor when King lived in Chicago. But he came to know Barack Obama even better. Though his medical partner was Obama’s doctor, Dr. Young was his neighbor, friend and ally for decades. After much outcry, Conyers was invited, along with Oliver Fein, president of Physicians for a National Health Program. Dr. Young was not invited.

Dr. Quentin Young, Longtime Obama Confidante and Physician to MLK, Criticizes Admin’s Rejection of Single-Payer Healthcare

DR. QUENTIN YOUNG: Well, it’s one of the few times when Barack has been dishonest. He knows and all America knows that our experience with employment-based insurance and these other Mickey Mouse things have been increasingly a total disaster. You have a $2.5 trillion industry with vested interests—the private hospitals that are for profit, the HMOs, the health insurance industry—making billions upon billions, and things getting worse. He knows and should act on the fact that time is running out.

The American people are hurting. Over a million Americans go bankrupt due to medical bills each year, and there’s a new study, incidentally, that will show that 50 percent of the bankruptcies are due to health costs; it will be 60 percent. So we have a worsening situation. And a man who wants to lead a country which is in great peril had best do some courageous things.

I really feel that we have to mount a national concern about this. As a doctor, up until a year ago, after sixty years of practice, I can testify that this system is—well, “broken” is a gross understatement. It’s wrecked. And it’s ruining people, and the public can’t put up with it anymore.

3 Responses

  1. Hello,

    I understand Dr. Quentin Young is the husband of the late Ruth Young. I am sorry to hear of the loss.

    Ruth Young published a short fiction piece of mine in 2006 in the literary journal “Primavera,” and I am trying to find a copy of it…and/or who else Ruth may have worked with on the magazine.

    I look forward to a response.


    Emily Shevenock

    • From Kimberly: Hello, Emily. We here do not know how to contact these people. We were simply commenting on stories in the news. Good luck in your search. -KW

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