Coalition of 80 organizations supporting five basic principles of health care reform, including universal coverage and equitable financing
NCHC Co-Chairman Robert Edgar, former General Secretary of the National Council of Churches and Co-Chairman of Win Without War, has condemned the violence of American policy overseas and labeled conservative positions on illegal immigration racist.
NCHC board member John Sweeney was former President of two of the biggest and most powerful American unions, SEIU and AFL-CIO. He is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
In 1990, Dr. Henry Simmons -- who had held a variety of positions in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations -- founded the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) “to use public education and policy advocacy to secure and sustain health system reform enactment and implementation.” He has served as the coalition’s President since its inception.
NCHC identifies itself as “a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization of more than 80 member organizations, representing medical societies, business, unions, health care providers, associations of religious congregations, pension and health funds, insurers, and groups representing consumers, patients, women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.” The coalition boasts a broad membership that rallies around five key principles:
NCHC’s sister organization, the NCHC Action Fund calls itself "a separate 501(c)(4) non-profit organization committed to the same principles [as NCHC]." In February 2009, it named Ralph Neas, former President of People for the American Way, as its President and CEO. At the time, Neas stated that NCHC always had been, and (under his stewardship) would continue to be, politically nonpartisan.
Throughout much of 2009, Henry Simmons and Ralph Neas continued to underscore NCHC's purportedly broad and inclusive political approach to health care. In June of that year, for instance, Simmons and Neas stated that “Failure to achieve a [health care] bill supported by a bipartisan majority would be a tragedy.”
By January 27, 2010, with public support for more governmental involvement in health care declining, the NCHC Action Fund adopted a far different position. Applauding the ability of President Obama and the Democratic Congressional leadership to achieve “more progress” in “one year … than had been accomplished in the past 100 years,” Neas called “to redouble our efforts to enact comprehensive health system reform.” He strongly rejected Republican “incrementalism” and backed the legislative strategy of reconciliation to avoid “further interruptions” to the task of passing the President’s health care reform as soon as possible.
A number of other notable leftwing activists sit on the NCHC board of directors. Former Congressman Robert Edgar is the coalition's Chairman. A United Methodist minister, Edgar was General Secretary of the National Council of Churches from 2000 to 2007, and he is Co-Chair of the Win Without War coalition.