Baucus 8 Update: Single-Payer in the News

I was one of the Baucus 8 in Tuesday’s demonstration at the Senate Finance Committee Round Table on health care. It was a meaningful and empowering action to be a part of, and I am awed and humbled by the response from single-payer supporters around the country.

Hundreds of people have written and donated to Healthcare-NOW! to thank the group for standing up for the single-payer supporters in this nation. We were proud to represent you in a direct confrontation with the Senate and Chairman Max Baucus about their exclusion of the only health reform that is truly universal and guaranteed to contain costs.

I said, “We want a seat for single-payer at the table.”

Baucus responded, “We want more police.”

All 8 were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct/disrupting a congressional hearing. We will meet again for our arraignment on May 26th.

We have had coverage in main stream media outlets. I was interviewed for NPR’s Morning Edition this morning. We were featured in the Wall Street Journal online and MSNBC News.

As one of the “Baucus 8,” Dr. Margaret Flowers, PNHP Maryland, will be on the Ed Show tonight at 6pm EST on MSNBC. She will be the leading story! Ed Shultz reported on his radio show earlier today that it is because of all of the emails from people urging him to cover the story. Thank you!!

While waiting to be handcuffed in the halls of Congress, a Senate Finance Committee staffer thanked us for our demonstration. He told us he thought we did the right thing.

We must keep this momentum going.

My roommate teaches 7th grade social studies. I spoke to her class several months ago about Healthcare-NOW! and a single-payer national health care system. They were amazingly receptive to the message. Yesterday, when they were told that the Health Care Crisis Lady (the nick name they have since given me) was arrested for standing up for health care as a human right, they cheered. They are 13 and 14 years old. They get it. And so does a majority of the people in this country.

We can’t leave this mess to another generation. The injustice must end. And we need to make sure that the rest of our communities and our nation understand the power of our message. With your work and advocacy for single-payer national health care, we can. We must grow our coalitions and think of new ways to reach people with our message and communicate that to our elected officials.

One immediate action you can take now is to call the Senate Finance Committee and ask them to include Marcia Angell, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, in Boston, Massachusetts and former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine. Physicians for a National Health Program recommends her as a wonderful advocate to be included in the third and final Roundtable discussion in the Senate Finance Committee on May 12th. (202) 224-4515

We need everyone to get involved with making our voices heard for the health care this country desperately needs. The first step towards implementing civil disobedience was taken this week. Many people think we need to continue this tradition in smart, organized and nonviolent ways.

Now is the time to amp up the education, advocacy and agitation of our mission. Now is so important. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you for your amazing support. And deepest thanks to the 7 other courageous activists who put themselves on the line for health care justice.

The next steps for the Baucus 8 is arraignment on May 26th in Washington DC. We hope to pack the room with single-payer supporters. Stay tuned for details.

Much admiration for all you do for the single-payer movement,
Katie Robbins
Assistant National Coordinator


  1. gravel kucinich paul nader on May 7, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    The little people must not hear about taking the for-profit insurance companies out of medicine.

    Profits trump death?

    You know the answer.

    “Our” Government!

  2. sandy on May 8, 2009 at 5:15 am

    I saw good and evil all in the same room on May 5th, the evil was seated around a table and the good was handcuffed and taken from the room. I mean really shouldn’t elected representatives that take money from insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyist be sent off to jail?

  3. Eliza Jane Dodd on May 11, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Today is Bad News …all the health care insurance co.’s are going to LOWER RATES for all of US …They are Sore afraid and Freaking out we will get Single Payer or the HR676 and please get with Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich …they are already for the next Election ….and VIBES are Flying around the White House Right NOW …..BAD VIBES …WHY ??? President Obama is in Great FEAR this Morning …. He will NOT win the Next Election …and a good reason to WORRY about his JOB …lol …I am Loving every minute of this ..Whats President Obama afraid of ??>>>RON PAUL and DENNIS KUCINICH , Bernie SANDERS and the LIST Grows daily …because these Brave Men know what Americans Need RIGHT NOW >HR676 for ALL !! They know the Heart Beat of the American People …because they care and keep up with our POSTS and how many people are SIGNING UP @ RON PAUL and all the others Stepping on this Great Train called >Universal Health Care ….that’s the TICKET !!! And that’s the only way to stay on the TRAIN ! It is a REVOLUTION ….I am not kidding ….I have already signed up at all the Congress Peoples web sites and I support RON PAUL 1,000% ! Like I said before if President Obama wasnt AFRAID of KUCINICH @ The Nevada Debates ….President OBAMA would of INVITED KUCINICH ! BUT Pres.Obama knows and knows now he is a LOOSER !! Because now we have this REVOLUTION and thats what they are calling it …..Our Health Care Friends ….Dennis , Bernie , Ron ,,,This Morning MrPresident is going to do a Dance and a song for us ….How do you like that ???? Mr.President is Scrambling and is very nervous this Morning …Because he KNOWS he is LOOSING HIS JOB …President Obama will only Hold ONE TERM ! If Kucinich was elected and he would of WON HANDS DOWN ….because he was on a ROLL ..We would of been already OUT of IRAQ and Every single American would of had health care !!! President Obama is Held as a Hero for FIRING the Head Cheese @ General Motors ….but he is really a COWARD now ….I thought is was another Scam and I was right … bail out these Gas Guzzeling Car Makers and NOTHING HAS CHANGED THERE …They are Still Putting out Gas Guzzeling SUV’S at the Arlington ,Texas Plant ! NO SOLAR NO END TO WAR NO HEALTH CARE …..and This >>> President of our’s is only BAILING OUT the PEOPLE WHO GOT US INTO THIS !!!!!!And Who HURT US on a DAILY BASES! !!!We are Paying 2 xs for “Their” mistakes ! President OBAMA is NOT Helping the American People ….just the opposite !
    And President Obama knows that Germany has bought ALL the SOLAR that all od ASIA can make …for the past 30 Years ! The Asian companies run 24/7 !!!! And they cant keep up with Germany’s DEMANDS !!!
    Its like we are sitting on our hands and the rest of the World Passes us up …time is ticking and NOTHING is getting Done !500 Americans are dying everyday as Baucus laughs at the Round Table with all his Greedy Blood Thirsty Friends >>>>They are Making Sure YOU dont WIN the Next Election !I know one thing Fore Sure >I will NOT Vote for you in 2012 ! On my mothers soul reaching HEAVEN !

    • Sally G on May 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm

      Eliza Jane, YOur post may be unpolished but it is straight from the heart, and dead on. I was fooled, I thought Clinton was to entrenched with the Establishment, but Obama was enough of a “newbie” to let me believe taht he was willing to shake things up. He hasn’t shown it so far, and if he doesn’t get on the ball NOW, he will indeed be a one-term president as far as the citizens are concerned. We’ve given him a chance, he talks the talk, but so far hasn’t really walked the walk. If we were in Great Britain, I’d be calling for a vote of “no confidence” except that the opposition is worse. Kucinich and Paul are the best! Welcome, Bernie Sanders—and contrats to those Finance Committee staffers who agree with what the BAucus 8 did: here’s hoping they speak up to the committee.
      Katie, thank you for what you did—I add my applause to the students who haven’t been corrupted and still believe what this country once stood for. If I can be there, I’ll be in Washington on the 26th!