The Big Scary ‘S’ Word: Socialists Fighting for Universal Healthcare during COVID and Beyond

Wednesday, April 7th @ 5:00 PM

Join the Democratic Socialists of America Fund, Dissent magazine, DSA’s Medicare for All campaign and Health Workers Collective, Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), and In These Times for the first installment in a-series of virtual events inspired by The Big Scary “S” Word. This month’s discussion will focus on the fight for universal healthcare during COVID and beyond.

The Big Scary “S” Word is a new documentary feature from Yael Bridge about socialism in the United States past and present. It draws connections between many of our social and economic crises and focuses on American socialists’ responses.

On April 7, the filmmaker will join us to answer questions about the film and the panel will discuss and respond to your questions about how we can get where we need to go now for everyone in the U.S. to have full access to good healthcare, during the COVID pandemic and beyond.

Yael Bridge is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. She produced Left on Purpose, winner of the Audience Award at DOC NYC. She was also the director of productions at Inequality Media, making viral videos that tackled complex political issues and gained over 100 million views in 2016. She holds an MFA in documentary film and video from Stanford University and an MA in media studies from the New School. She resides in Oakland, where she works as a filmmaker and film educator.

Dennis Kosuth is a registered nurse for over 13 years, works full-time in public schools and part-time in an ER. He is an active member of his unions, Chicago Teachers Union and National Nurses United, as well as the Chicago DSA.

Elizabeth Lalasz is a registered nurse, union steward with National Nurses United and co-chair of the Chicago DSA Labor branch.

Susan Rogers, President of Physicians for a National Health Program, recently retired from Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago, Illinois and continues as a volunteer attending hospitalist and internist there. Prior to retiring, she was co-director of medical student programs for the Department of Medicine and received numerous teaching awards from medical students and residents. She is an Assistant Professor of medicine at Rush University, where she continues to be an active member of the Committee of Admissions.

Michael Lighty has organized, advocated and developed policy for single-payer, Medicare for All nationally and in California for nearly 29 years. He is a founding Fellow of the Sanders Institute. Lighty recently retired from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United where he was director of public policy. He was lead policy analyst, a leader of Healthy California and testified on behalf of the single-payer bill, SB 562. Most recently, he was the Healthcare Constituency Director for Bernie 2020.

Rebecca Wood began as a patient advocate for her own daughter, Charlie. This led to civic participation as a volunteer and, later, a Team Leader with the nonpartisan voter registration organization, HeadCount. However, her first time on Capitol Hill and her active engagement began in January of 2017 when she stepped up to join the fight to save the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.

Since then, Rebecca worked with many organizations and offices on Capitol Hill. Her healthcare work includes rallies, protests, press conferences, and conventions. Most notable, she told her and Charlie’s story at the introduction of Senator Sanders’ Medicare For All Act of 2017 and testified before the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Pathways to Universal Health Care.