Quentin Young, Early Supporter of Obama, Now Disappointed and Saddened
22 Corporate Crime Reporter 5, January 28, 2008

Dr. Quentin Young was an early supporter of Senator Barack Obama.

But now, Young is worried that Presidential candidate Obama is moving right.

Young is a founder of the Chicago-based Physicians for a National Health Program.

He’s a national leader in the grassroots drive for a single payer, Medicare-for-all, Canadian-style health system.

And while Obama may have said early in his career that he supported single payer, clearly he no longer does.

“I knew him before he was political,” Young says of Obama. “I supported him when he ran for state Senate. When he was a state Senator he did say that he supported single payer. Now, he hedges. Now he says, if we were starting from scratch, he would support single payer.”

“Barack’s a smart man,” Young says. “He probably calculated the political cost for being for single payer – the shower of opposition from the big boys – the drug companies and the health insurance companies. And so, like the rest of them, he fashioned a hodge podge of a health insurance plan.”

“And the problem with the hodge podge is that it keeps the insurance companies in the mix,” Young said. “And the insurance companies cannot be part of the solution because they are part of the problem. And so, in terms of getting single payer passed, Obama is now part of the problem.”

Young said that Obama has “created an image for himself of someone who seeks political progress by creating a mushy middle on all issues.”

“I am disappointed and saddened by this,” Young said. “He knows the better way. But the propensity to surrender before you have a battle on your hands is what is wrong with American politics.”

“I fear that Obama’s posture will have him moving sharply to the right if he gets power,” Young said. “I fear he will find all kinds of reasons to not move out of Iraq.”

Young said that the last time he spoke with Obama was in early 2005. In January 2005, Obama voted to confirm Condoleeza Rice as Secretary of State.

“When I heard about the vote, I wrote him a letter,” Young said. “I told him I was disappointed in him. Rice was the embodiment of everything that was wrong with this administration. So, he called me back and he said – why didn’t you pick up the phone and call me? And he said – do you think Bush would ever send to the Senate a nominee for Secretary of State who I could vote for? I said – you are the Constitutional lawyer. It’s about advice and consent, right? You should have denied him your consent.”

Young says that none of the leading Democratic Presidential candidates supports single payer.

Young was supporting Dennis Kucinich for President. Kucinich sponsored HR 676, the single payer bill that has been signed on to by more than 80 members of the House of Representatives. But Kucinich dropped out the race last week. And now, there is no one left standing in the Presidential field who supports single payer.

Dr. Young is looking for an alternative.



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