In an effort to help mobilize and organize its members for action, the Communist Party is calling an emergency national conference, “The Crisis in Healthcare and the Fightback,” set for New York City on May 17 and 18.

A recent meeting in Chicago of its National Board noted that the health care crisis “is hitting the working class and the American people like a tornado,” and that health care is a life and death disaster for growing millions.

In making the proposal to hold the conference, Scott Marshall, chair of the Communist Party’s Labor Commission said, “Virtually every major union contract becomes a fight over health care. New thousands of workers in manufacturing and their families are losing all coverage. African American, Latino and other oppressed minorities, as well as women and children, are especially hard hit. We have to do something. In today’s world it’s much like the fight for unemployment compensation and Social Security in the Great Depression.”

Universal, comprehensive, health care is seen world wide as a basic human right. The war in Iraq and the worsening economy are eating up vital resources that are needed to provide for all. “More than 43 million people in this country have no coverage at all. Meanwhile the insurance and pharmaceutical companies are making astronomical profits while seniors can’t get a basic prescription drug benefit,” Marshall said.

The conference aims to broaden and deepen its efforts to help build fightback coalitions on healthcare issues. The conference will explore emergency action initiatives as well as building support for legislation like The United States National Health Insurance Act (HR 676), authored by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.).

Conference organizers are excited by the response from other healthcare activists and coalitions who are interested in participating in the conference. For more information contact: CPUSA, 235 W. 23rd Street, New York, NY, 10011. Phone: (212) 989-4994, or e-mail: