Named for labor champions Eugene V. Debs, Mother Jones, and Frederick Douglass, DJDI is working to address the U.S. healthcare crisis by organizing working people in support of Medicare for All.


Runaway Inequality and the Crisis in U.S. Healthcare is an in-depth examination of the U.S. healthcare system developed specifically for union audiences. It explores:

  • How our healthcare system compares to other countries, and who really benefits from it
  • How healthcare costs affect collective bargaining
  • How our system isn’t actually designed to deliver healthcare; it’s designed to deliver profits. 
  • How our healthcare system deepens runaway inequality and that we can afford to provide good health care for every person in America. 
  • The jobs related to healthcare insurance that would be eliminated under Medicare for All and how the labor movement and progressives can fight for a fair and equitable transition for those workers. 
  • Lessons from the Canadian healthcare system.
  • How we’ll win good, affordable healthcare for everyone.

Developed in partnership with Les Leopold and Kris Raab, Labor Institute.

How to use the curriculum:

  • a full-day workshop for 20-25 people
  • showing one or two charts to a few people, for example during lunch
  • holding a one-hour version of the workshop for a small group

DJDI and the Labor Institute have field tested the workbook and Small Group Activity method it uses at 

  • All-day workshop at the Single Payer Strategy Conference in Portland, OR in October 2019
  • Leader and steward meetings of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)
  • Texas AFL-CIO COPE conference 
  • Union/community gatherings in Austin and Dallas, Texas.

Medicare for All and Just Transition

An estimated 1.8 million insurance and administrative jobs will be lost with the implementation of Medicare for All. In addition, the jobs of health care workers will be impacted. DJDI is leading a discussion of what a worker-centered Just Transition would look like and who sets the terms of how existing jobs will change. We will explore why most workers don’t trust the promise of a just transition, historical precedents, and how our movement could help set the terms of the broader debate about workers’ interests in economic transitions driven by changes in social policies.