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A socialist organization with close ties to Barack Obama has outlined a plan to turn the president's health-care legislation into a government-run system that will ultimately eliminate private insurance companies.
Obama's health-care bill "should create millions of new stakeholders in a health-care system governed by democratically established rules rather than by the fiats of private insurers," wrote Frank Llewellyn, national director of Democratic Socialists of America.
Writing in the latest issue of the socialist Democratic Left magazine, Llewellyn said "progressives" must use Obama's health-care legislation "to build support for the elimination of private insurers."
Llewellyn called for a public information campaign regarding "Obamacare" and socialized medicine.
"DSAers (Democratic Socialists of America members) in every state and city," he said, "should be prepared to rebut distortions with letters to the editor and op-eds that talk about what socialism really is – and what true social democratic public provision would look like, particularly when health care is the paradigmatic public good that markets, let alone for profit oligopolies, simply cannot justly and affordably supply."
He recommended removing Democratic lawmakers who oppose single-payer and socialized health care.
"Progressives must now work to ensure that some conservative Democrats who did not support the final bill will be punished with primaries or even third-party challenges," he wrote.
Llewellyn argued the passage of Obama's health-care bill opens the door for other progressive policies, such as immigration reform, anti-corporate measures and an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He wrote: "Passage of the bill does keep the door open for popular movements to demand strict financial regulatory reform, immigration reform, massive aid to states and localities, and a much-needed public jobs program.
"DSA and the larger progressive movement must create street heat in favor of these anti-corporate measures, as well as for a just resolution to the foreclosure crisis, and an end to United States involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Communism researcher Trevor Loudon, writing at his KeyWiki website, notes the DSA previously outlined its goal as destroying private ownership in the U.S.
"Our goal as socialists is to abolish private ownership of the means of production," wrote DSA National Political Committee member David Green in a 2007 Democratic Left article.
Top DSA members have been closely linked for years to Obama.
Obama himself spoke at a DSA-organized forum at the University of Chicago in early 1996 called "Employment and Survival in Urban America."
Quentin Young, considered the father of the U.S. single-payer movement, is a longtime DSA activist. He has had a relationship with Obama, particularly in the 1990s, when he reportedly advised Obama on health care.
Young was reportedly present at a 1995 meeting at the home of former Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers that was said to have launched Obama's political career.
Young has been active in Chicago socialist circles and was previously accused of membership in a communist group. In 1992, Chicago's branch of the DSA awarded Young, a member, with their highest honor – the Debs Award.
In a 2008 article in the official Communist Party USA magazine, Young noted Obama previously expressed support of a single-payer universal health-care program, although he later waffled when asked about his position.
As an Illinois state senator representing a mostly black district on the South Side of Chicago, Obama publicly supported universal health care. He also co-sponsored the Bernardin Amendment, which did not pass but would have amended the Illinois State Constitution to add health care to the list of basic rights for residents.
Meanwhile, Obama spoke at the March 29, 1998, memorial service for Chicago DSA member Saul Mendelson.
Timuel Black, a DSA activist, mediated political disputes on behalf of Obama in the 1990s and was reportedly involved in Obama's campaign committee during his successful 2004 Senate race.
Longtime DSA activist Arnold Wolf was a member of "Rabbis for Obama" and has held fundraisers in his home for Obama, including a function in 1995 that was aimed at introducing Obama to the Hyde Park activist community.
Eliseo Medina, international executive vice-president of Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, has been honored by the DSA. During the most recent presidential campaign, Medina served on Obama's National Latino Advisory Council.
WND reported Medina, speaking at a 2009 Washington, D.C., conference, declared granting citizenship to millions of illegal aliens would expand the progressive electorate and help ensure a progressive governing coalition for the long term.