Non-profit

Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)

Location:

CHICAGO, IL

Tax ID:

04-2937697

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2016):

Revenue: $886,402
Expenses: $947,134
Assets: $405,339

Formation:

1987

Type:

Single-Payer Healthcare Advocacy Group

President:

Adam Gaffney

Executive Director:

Matthew Perry

Physicians for a National Health Program is a left-of-center advocacy group that supports a government-run single-payer healthcare system for the United States. The organization operates in two capacities: as a research group that publishes studies supporting government-run healthcare and as an activism arm for building support for such policies. [1]

Physicians for a National Health Program leadership advised left-wing U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2016 Presidential campaign. [2]

History

Physicians for a National Health Program was founded in 1987 by Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein. According to a 2003 New York Times interview, they “became exasperated with what [Woolhandler] felt was the conservatism of many medical professionals” and sought to persuade policymakers and physicians to support government-run healthcare. [3]

Initially, Physicians for a National Health Program focused on publishing research in peer-reviewed journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine [4] and JAMA. [5] A 2003 article published in the latter received the endorsement of 8,000 physicians, but the New York Times noted that at the time, there were 836,000 physicians in the country. [6] It later began branching out into activism work and to date, it currently has at least one chapter in 32 states. [7]

In addition to being critical of private healthcare as a whole, the organization opposed the passage of Obamacare because it did not constitute a total government takeover of healthcare. [8].

More recently, the organization has come out in support of the “Medicare for All” government-run healthcare bills proposed by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)[9] and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). [10] The statement in support of Rep. Jayapal’s bill quoted Physicians for a National Health Program’s Adam Gaffney saying that “Congress shouldn’t be distracted with incremental plans like a Medicare buy-in or public option.”

Present Activities

Physicians for a National Health Program continues to regularly publish research supporting government-run single-payer healthcare. [11]. They also occasionally update their “Physicians’ Proposal for Single-Payer Health Care Reform,” the most recent iteration of which was published in 2016 and entitled, “Beyond the Affordable Care Act.” [12] It is published by their “Working Group on Single-Payer Program Design,” made up of co-chairs Adam Gaffney, David Himmelstein, Steffie Woolhandler, and Marcia Angell.

The organization is presently looking to expand its chapters throughout the country and provides existing groups with stipends and training opportunities. [13] It also has a student activism arm, Students for a National Health Program, which has held annual summits since 2015. [14]

Outside of its chapters, it maintains a bureau of speakers who can be contacted to speak at public events. [15]

Leadership

The organization has two levels of leadership: its Officers and a National Office Staff [16]. Its current President, Dr. Adam Gaffney, regularly publishes on his blog The Progressive Physician and has advocated for government-run healthcare on media outlets like Fox Business and NBC. [17]

The only paid officer is executive director Matthew Petty, who makes $60,000 a year, as of 2017. [18]

Co-founders Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein—who now work in the organization as Secretary/Board Member and Newsletter Editors, respectively—served as health policy advisors on Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential Campaign. [19]

Dr. Woolhandler has written for far-left publications like Jacobin[20] and Socialistworker.org. [21]

Funding

Tax filings by Physicians for a National Health Program show total revenues of $943,602 and total expenses of $958,174.

Contributors to the organization include the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis, Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation, and the Tides Foundation. [22]

References

  1. Hoffman, Beatrix. “Health Care Reform and Social Movements in the United States.” American Journal of Public Health. January 2003. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1447696/.
  2. Woolhandler, Steffie, David U. Himmelstein, Ida Hellander, and Joshua Holland. “Can Medicare for All Succeed?” The Nation. August 16, 2017. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.thenation.com/article/can-medicare-for-all-succeed/.
  3. Foreman, Judy. “A CONVERSATION WITH: Steffie Woolhandler; Heal Health Care System? Start Anew.” The New York Times. December 02, 2003. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/02/health/a-conversation-with-steffie-woolhandler-heal-health-care-system-start-anew.html.
  4. Himmelstein, David U., and Steffie Woolhandler. “A National Health Program for the United States | NEJM.” New England Journal of Medicine. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM198901123200206.
  5. Woolhandler, Steffie, and David U. Himmelstein. “A National Health Program: Northern Light at the End of the Tunnel.” JAMA. October 20, 1989. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/379050.
  6. Foreman, Judy. “A CONVERSATION WITH: Steffie Woolhandler; Heal Health Care System? Start Anew.” The New York Times. December 02, 2003. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/02/health/a-conversation-with-steffie-woolhandler-heal-health-care-system-start-anew.html.
  7. “Chapters.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/take-action/chapters/.
  8. Physicians for a National Health Program. “New Medical Bankruptcy Study: Two-Thirds of Filers Cite Illness and Medical Bills as Contributors to Financial Ruin.” Common Dreams. February 07, 2019. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2019/02/07/new-medical-bankruptcy-study-two-thirds-filers-cite-illness-and-medical-bills-0. ; Himmelstein, David U., and Steffie Woolhandler. “How Single Payer Could Fail.” Jacobin. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://jacobinmag.com/2018/02/how-single-payer-could-fail.
  9. “Doctors’ Group Welcomes Sen. Sanders’ Medicare-for-All Bill.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/news/doctors-group-welcomes-sen-sanders-medicare-for-all-bill-2/.
  10. “Physicians Group Endorses the Medicare for All Act of 2019.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/news/physicians-group-endorses-the-medicare-for-all-act-of-2019/.
  11. “Latest Research Archives.” PNHP. May 08, 2019. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/news-category/latest-research/.
  12. “Physicians’ Proposal.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/what-is-single-payer/physicians-proposal/.
  13. “Chapters.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/take-action/chapters/
  14. “Previous Summits.” Students for a National Health Program. Accessed June 07, 2019. http://student.pnhp.org/snahp-summit/2016-snahp-summit/.
  15. “Speakers Bureau.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/about/speaker-bureau/.
  16. “PNHP Board of Directors and Staff.” PNHP. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://pnhp.org/about/board-of-directors-and-staff/.
  17. Gaffney, Adam. “Adam Gaffney.” The Progressive Physician. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://theprogressivephysician.net/author/complex5/.
  18. “Physicians for a National Health Program 2017 Form 990.” Guidestar.org. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/04-2937697.
  19. Woolhandler, Steffie, David U. Himmelstein, Ida Hellander, and Joshua Holland. “Can Medicare for All Succeed?” The Nation. August 16, 2017. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://www.thenation.com/article/can-medicare-for-all-succeed/.
  20. “Steffie Woolhandler.” Jacobin. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://jacobinmag.com/author/steffie-woolhandler.
  21. “Dr. Steffie Woolhandler.” SocialistWorker.org. Accessed June 07, 2019. https://socialistworker.org/author/dr-steffie-woolhandler.
  22. Data compiled by FoundationSearch.com subscription service, a project of Metasoft Systems, Inc., from forms filed with the IRS. Queries conducted June 10, 2019.

Supported Movements

  1. Medicare-for-All
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: July 1, 1990

  • 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
    2016 Dec Form 990 $886,402 $947,134 $405,339 $118,771 N $881,263 $0 $964 $0
    2015 Dec Form 990 $930,200 $965,716 $374,747 $27,447 N $925,756 $0 $1,263 $0 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $989,330 $943,942 $385,849 $2,967 N $985,112 $0 $1,574 $0 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $788,193 $917,414 $343,108 $5,627 N $783,671 $0 $1,629 $0 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $802,912 $853,620 $485,513 $18,811 N $797,253 $0 $2,354 $0 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $990,318 $831,005 $517,409 $0 N $979,001 $0 $3,054 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP)

    29 E MADISON ST STE 1412
    CHICAGO, IL 60602-4410