Non-profit

Doctors for America

Website:

doctorsforamerica.org

Location:

WASHINGTON, DC

Tax ID:

45-4005553

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $393,138
Expenses: $335,727
Assets: $205,786

Formation:

2008

Founder:

Dr. Vivek Murthy

Originally known as:

Doctors for Obama

Doctors for America (DFA), originally named Doctors for Obama, is a left-of-center activist organization that recruits and organizes physicians and medical students to promote left-of-center policies in healthcare. The organization was founded in 2008 by Dr. Vivek Murthy, a staffer for Obama’s New England steering committee [1] to support the campaign of President Barrack Obama and the campaign’s centerpiece policy, the Affordable Care Act.[2] Doctors for Obama was restructured as Doctors for America after Obama’s election and remained a leading advocate for the Affordable Care Act until it was passed in 2010. Dr. Murthy was later nominated by President Obama and confirmed as U.S. Surgeon General in 2014.[3]

Doctors for America has also advocated for left-of-center policies related to gun control, immigration, gender affirming care, abortion, climate change, and COVID-19 mitigation policies.

History

2008 Campaign Activities

In 2008, members of Doctors for Obama used a “variety of grassroots activities [including] hosting house parties…, phone banking…, to contributing funds”  to support Barrack Obama’s presidential campaign. According to press releases, Doctors for Obama formed groups comprised of “physicians and medical students who believe[d] [in] Senator Obama’s health plan” and were encouraged to explain it to other physicians and medical students to “help [them] understand the real choice in [the] presidential election with respect to healthcare.” [4]

Post 2008 Restructuring

After President Obama’s successful 2008 campaign, Doctors for Obama received a grant through the Center for American Progress (CAP), a powerful left-of-center think-tank, to rebrand as a nonprofit organization called Doctors for America (DFA).[5] A 2009 conference call hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund announced Doctor’s for America as the “reincarnation of Doctors for Obama, an arm of the Obama campaign…” The conference call also featured Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT)  an “architect” of Obamacare.[6]

After becoming a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for American Progress, DFA continued to advocate for the passage of the Affordable Care Act, becoming one of its leading advocates by “participating in marches, filing an amicus brief in the [law’s] Supreme Court case…, and… visiting the Republican National Convention to promote it.”[7]

In 2011, Doctors for America applied for and received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status of its own[8] but continued to work closely with CAP until as late as 2016, when CAP reported transferring “certain communication program work to the Doctors for America (DFA), a newly formed 501(c)(3) organization.”[9]

Fundraising

During its time as a fiscally sponsored project of the Center for American Progress DFA was scrutinized for refusing to disclose its donors despite its founder’s appointment as Surgeon General. Meredith McGhee of the the-leaning Campaign Legal Center told reporters that DFA’s fiscal sponsor was becoming “a holding place for policy experts in waiting,” and that “You need transparency if you have people going into the administration.” DFA declined to provide a list of its donors when asked by reporters, but insisted that they conducted their own fundraising, independent of CAP.[10]

Financial disclosures later revealed that during its time as a fiscally sponsored project of CAP, DFA received a $50,000 grant from the Herman and Frieda L Miller Foundation, and $135,000 from the Nathan Cummings Foundation, both of which are known for funding left-leaning activism groups[11] [12] [13]

Since attaining independent 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, DFA has raised funds from a variety of major left-of-center donors. On its website, DFA lists the Laura and John Arnold Foundation and the Joyce Foundation as $25,000+ donors alongside numerous smaller individual donors.[14] The website does not, however, disclose the donations it has received from the Conrad N Hilton Foundation, which contributed $35,000,[15] the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), which contributed $40,500, [16] or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which contributed $15,000.[17]

Fundraising with ActBlue

Doctors for America also accepts donations through ActBlue Charities, the nonprofit fundraising wing of the Democrat affiliated ActBlue digital fundraising platform.[18]

Political Activism

DFA often voices support for left-wing political positions unrelated to healthcare and is often critical of conservative healthcare policy advocacy groups and Republican congressional representatives.[19]

Gun Control

In 2015, Doctors for America partnered with congressional Democrats to demand that Congress “view gun violence as a public health epidemic” and give the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention permission to investigate how to solve the problem.[20] In 2013, DFA also endorsed Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 bill that proposed banning “assault weapons that can accept a detachable ammunition magazine,” and “magazines and other ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition” to help with her efforts to ban assault weapons.[21] In 2021, DFA argued that less restrictive gun control laws disproportionately cause more gun violence in minority communities and “lead to more physical and mental danger.”[22]

Abortion

DFA is also a vocal supporter of unrestricted abortion, and has stated that abortion is a form of “evidence-based healthcare.”[23] DFA has issued statements opposing the overturning Roe v. Wade,[24] and is a member of the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom which advocates for “sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice.”[25][26]  DFA opposed a law in Louisiana that required abortion facilities to be within thirty miles of a hospital in case of a medical emergency during the procedure.[27] During the Supreme Court case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, DFA also wrote an amicus curiae brief that advised the Supreme Court to overturn the Texas HB 2 law that required abortion clinics “to meet hospital-like standards.”[28][29]

Anti-Police and Anti-incarceration

DFA has also voiced support for limiting the role of police officers in law enforcement and public safety administration. DFA endorsed “The People’s Response Act,” which proposed allocating $10 billion to fund a new public safety agency that would classify community organizations, social workers, and nurses as first responders instead of police officers.[30][31] In 2020, DFA also expressed support for limiting the use of incarceration during th pandemic, claiming that maintaining existing prison populations was a public health risk because of Covid-19. DFA drafted a “Covid-19 Toolkit” that claimed Texas jails should release inmates to prevent the spread of the virus.[32]

References

  1. “As a Yale Student, Surgeon General Nominee’s Energy and Compassion Were Apparent.” Yale School of Medicine. Yale School of Medicine, May 21, 2013. https://medicine.yale.edu/news/yale-medicine-magazine/article/as-a-yale-student-surgeon-general-nominees-energy/. ^
  2. “Doctors for America.” Yale School of Medicine. Yale School of Medicine, January 15, 2010. https://medicine.yale.edu/news/yale-medicine-magazine/article/doctors-for-america/. ^
  3. “As a Yale Student, Surgeon General Nominee’s Energy and Compassion Were Apparent.” Yale School of Medicine. Yale School of Medicine, May 21, 2013. https://medicine.yale.edu/news/yale-medicine-magazine/article/as-a-yale-student-surgeon-general-nominees-energy/ ^
  4. “Doctors Speak Out for Obama.” Doctors for Obama. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://web.archive.org/web/20081014031338/http:/doctorsforobama.net/pressrelease.html. ^
  5. “Doctors for America.” Yale School of Medicine. Yale School of Medicine, January 15, 2010. https://medicine.yale.edu/news/yale-medicine-magazine/article/doctors-for-america/. ^
  6. Zeballos-Roig, Joseph. “Joe Manchin Is in No Rush to Strike an Infrastructure Deal with Republicans – and It’s Giving Some Democrats ‘Bad Flashbacks’ to Futile Obamacare Talks 12 Years Ago.” Business Insider. Business Insider, May 26, 2021. https://www.businessinsider.com/democrats-infrastructure-flashbacks-obamacare-obama-veterans-manchin-negotiations-biden-agenda-2021-5^
  7. “Obamacare Advocate Poised to Become next Surgeon General.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, November 15, 2013. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/obamacare-advocate-poised-become-next-surgeon-general-flna2d11599574. ^
  8. https://apps.irs.gov/pub/epostcard/dl/FinalLetter_45-4005553_DOCTORSFORAMERICA_04292013_01.tif ^
  9. “Center for American Progress, Form 990, Schedule O – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/300126510/201713079349302031/IRS990ScheduleO. ^
  10. McElhatton, Jim. “Obama’s Surgeon General Nominee Connected to Left-Leaning Think Tank.” The Washington Times. The Washington Times, December 23, 2013. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/23/obamas-surgeon-general-nominee-connected-to-left-l/. ^
  11. “Herman and Frieda L Miller Foundation – Form Form 990-PF for Period Ending Nov 2011 – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/137131926/2012_05_PF%2F13-7131926_990PF_201111. ^
  12. “The Nathan Cummings Foundation Inc – Form Form 990-PF for Period Ending Dec 2011 – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/237093201/2013_01_PF%2F23-7093201_990PF_201112. ^
  13. “The Nathan Cummings Foundation Inc – Form Form 990-PF for Period Ending Dec 2013 – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/237093201/2014_11_PF%2F23-7093201_990PF_201312. ^
  14. “Our Donors – Doctors for America Donors Make It Possible.” Doctors for America, April 28, 2022. https://doctorsforamerica.org/about/our-donors/. ^
  15. “Conrad N Hilton Foundation, Form 990PF – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/943100217/202013189349102141/IRS990PF. ^
  16. “Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Form 990, Schedule I – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/131644147/201610439349301871/IRS990ScheduleI. ^
  17. “Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Form 990PF – Nonprofit Explorer.” ProPublica, May 9, 2013. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/226029397/201913129349101306/IRS990PF. ^
  18. “Donate – Support Our Initiatives.” Doctors for America, October 18, 2021. https://doctorsforamerica.org/donate/. ^
  19. ^
  20. Dennis, Brady. “Hours before San Bernardino Shooting, Doctors Urged Congress to Lift Funding Ban on Gun Violence Research.” The Washington Post. WP Company, December 2, 2015. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2015/12/02/hours-before-san-bernardino-mass-shooting-doctors-were-on-capitol-hill-petitioning-congress-to-lift-ban-on-gun-violence-research/. ^
  21. “Feinstein Introduces Bill on Assault Weapons, High-Capacity Magazines.” United States Senator for California, January 24, 2013. https://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=5dffbf07-d8e5-42aa-9f22-0743368dd754. ^
  22. Carter, Simone, and Patrick Strickland. “As Doctors Decry Gun Violence, Texas Republicans Push Lax Restrictions.” Dallas Observer. Dallas Observer, June 4, 2022. https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/as-doctors-decry-gun-violence-texas-republicans-push-to-loosen-restrictions-12002957. ^
  23. “Doctors for America Statement on Women’s Health & Reproductive Rights.” Doctors for America, September 29, 2021. https://doctorsforamerica.org/doctors-for-america-statement-on-womens-health-reproductive-rights/. ^
  24. “Doctors for America Statement on Women’s Health & Reproductive Rights.” Doctors for America, September 29, 2021. https://doctorsforamerica.org/doctors-for-america-statement-on-womens-health-reproductive-rights/. ^
  25. “Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom Responds to Passage of Amendment 1: Lift Louisiana.” Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom Responds to Passage of Amendment 1 | Lift Louisiana. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://liftlouisiana.org/updates/louisiana-coalition-reproductive-freedom-responds-passage-amendment-1. ^
  26. “Coalition Members.” Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom. Accessed June 24, 2022. https://www.louisianarepro.org/members-partners. ^
  27. report, Staff. “Coalition for Reproductive Freedom Applauds Decision.” The Times. Shreveport Times, March 5, 2016. https://www.shreveporttimes.com/story/news/2016/03/05/coalition-reproductive-freedom-applauds-decision/81370152/. ^
  28. Center for Reproductive Rights, June 24, 2022. https://reproductiverights.org/. ^
  29. Ura, Alexa. “U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Texas Abortion Restrictions.” The Texas Tribune. The Texas Tribune, June 27, 2016. https://www.texastribune.org/2016/06/27/us-supreme-court-rules-texas-abortion-case/. ^
  30. People’s Response Act, July 1, 2021. https://peoplesresponseact.com/. ^
  31. Hamdan, Lara. “$10 Billion Proposal From Rep. Bush Would Move Crisis Response to New Agency Staffed by Social Worker.” NPR. NPR, June 28, 2021. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1011074045. ^
  32. “COVID-19 County Criminal Justice Stakeholder Toolkit.” Texas Center for Justice and Equity, April 2020. https://texascje.org/system/files/publications/COVID-19%20County%20Criminal%20Justice%20Stakeholder%20Toolkit.pdf. ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2013

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2020 Dec Form 990 $393,138 $335,727 $205,786 $36,640 N $393,138 $0 $0 $209,178 PDF
    2019 Dec Form 990 $543,617 $445,350 $148,366 $36,631 N $543,084 $0 $0 $102,909 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990EZ $112,512 $277,174 $57,548 $44,380 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $388,443 $214,754 $214,285 $36,445 N $373,243 $15,200 $0 $24,178 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990EZ $131,780 $92,334 $43,633 $4,187 $0 $0 $0 $0

    Doctors for America

    1701 PENNSYLVANIA AVE NW SUITE 30
    WASHINGTON, DC 20006-5805