Tribute to Medicare For All Activist Pearl Korn

Mar 6, 2022 | PDA News

photo: Two Medicare For All Champions: Awards breakfast in 2019 honoring Pearl Korn (right) for her volunteer efforts to elect NY State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (left).


by Debra Schrishuhn for the PDA National Team


Continue Pearl Korn’s Medicare For All Legacy:
Become a PDA Sustainer Today


It is with a heavy heart that I write this email. PDA’s dear friend and longtime Medicare For All advocate, Pearl Korn, has lost her battle with cancer. To the end, she remained an activist for better healthcare and for better treatment of both patients and the caregivers who attend them in a system that too often prioritizes profit over decency and equity.

It is fitting that this brief profile of Pearl occurs during Women’s History Month, as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is in the confirmation process for Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, making history for women across America.

Pearl was an indomitable force for transformative healthcare reform, and yet her lifelong efforts remain unknown to most Americans. Like so many women, she lived and worked and advocated for her issues with no thought toward personal fame or reward, spurred by the need to make the world better for others.

A former photojournalist, fine art photography dealer, and world traveler, Pearl turned her formidable skills to Medicare For All advocacy, and wrote many hard-hitting articles for Huffington Post, 2011-2017. She formed valuable relationships on Capitol Hill and in New York state government, where she pushed relentlessly for single-payer healthcare at the state level.

We chatted a few weeks ago about the results from Pearl’s final gift to PDA, imploring the good friends of Progressive Democrats of America to step up and support our efforts to bring Medicare For All to the American people. She was happy to know that the email we sent had garnered both one-time and monthly donations to sustain PDA’s continuing healthcare policy efforts.

Pearl’s was a long, hard fight, and though delays and compromises were more prevalent than outright victories, she persisted to move the needle just a little further every day, every week, every month, every year.

From our weekly Progressive Town Halls to our Congressional Office Liaison Program and national phone-banking teams to our endorsements of congressional Medicare For All champions and game-changing early and steadfast support for Bernie Sanders’ presidential runs, we at PDA have been at the vanguard of the single-payer movement. Pearl was right there alongside us.

PDA won’t give up until Medicare For All is the law of the land. Early this year, knowing her time was short, Pearl asked that we request your support in enacting Medicare For All across the U.S.

You stepped up, and Pearl and PDA appreciated that support. Now we have lost Pearl’s vibrant voice, and we ask you once again to step up and support Medicare For All in her memory.

Make a monthly gift of $27, $10, $5, or $2.70 today.

We love you, Pearl, and we thank you for all you did in service to Medicare For All and for your steadfast support of PDA. You will be sorely missed.