By Donna Smith

It has finally happened right here in the United States. Citizens who believe healthcare is a human right have been arrested and are being processed like criminals through the Southeast District of Columbia police station. Their crime? Asking for single payer healthcare reform – publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare – to be discussed during the Congressional hearings on reform.

Doctors and other single payer activists were handcuffed and went to jail today speaking up for single payer to be at the table in the Senate finance Committee’s roundtable discussion on healthcare access and coverage. In stark contrast, Karen Ignagni, head of the industry lobby group American Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) was escorted into the room like royalty by staff members of the Senate committee. Clearly, the position of the United States Senate is not with the majority of Americans who support a national, public insurance system.

It made me physically ill to see Maryland pediatrician Margaret Flowers cuffed like a criminal and pushed out the door as the Senators waited to begin their staged roundtable discussion. It made me want to scream. It made me proud of them for being bold but ashamed that not one Senator spoke up for their own citizen-protestors and asked that they at least be allowed to speak. But the insistence that the citizens rising in protest be arrested continued from the chair with each incident.

Simply asking to have single payer be included and fully vetted is a crime. Profiting as the for-profit health insurance companies do at the expense of 22,000 American lives every year, however, gets you a run of the table in this healthcare reform discussion. Just ask the Senators who are drafting what this nation’s health system will look like – and watch their behavior today – if you want evidence of how your voice will be heard in the process.

The protestors were stoic and respectful but direct. One by one they stood. One by one they asked why single payer reform was not “at the table” of 15 witnesses Senator Max Baucus and his finance Committee gathered to map out what sort of coverage Americans might expect in the Senate reform bill now being crafted.

Sen. Baucus eventually spoke and indicated that he was respectful of those who believe in single payer – as he acknowledged many of his constituents in Montana do – but he made no attempt to explain why no single payer voice has been included in any Senate discussion to date. He urged any others in the audience who might have any designs on speaking up like the protestors did to not do so, and then he moved on to his roundtable discussion.

The press seated comfortably at the press table first looked amused and then puzzled by the procession of protest in the chamber. The C-SPAN cameras fixed on both the Committee’s table at the front of the room and the witness table directly across from them could have easily picked up the protests but the network chose to keep their cameras fixed only on Chairman Baucus – though the protestors’ words could be heard in the audience. Only two reporters of the 20 or so assembled were curious enough or industrious enough to rise and exit the room to see the arrests being carried out in the hallway.

While neither the Finance Committee or the press allowed their proceedings to be disrupted for very long, the air in the room and the atmosphere had changed — the giddy and gleeful assembly of industry lobbyists who had been chattering in rapt anticipation of the coming of their carefully chosen witnesses could not deny that some brave and patriotic fellow citizens had just been hauled out for arrest for nothing more than demanding that a point of view held by a majority of patients, nurses, physicians and other healthcare providers be included in the national discussion.

While this Congress may pass something very different than single payer reform, it will not do so without hearing the cries of the people left so openly exposed to personal health and financial ruin by the corrupt system that celebrates only profit. The citizens who stood for the thousands and thousands of dead today will not let this democracy give itself completely over to the big money interests in healthcare. Not without a fight. Not on their lives or yours or mine.

34 Comments

  1. freelyb on May 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I found the self-righteous superiority exhibited by the Senate, the press, and other members of the audience to be disgusting. The looks of scorn on those faces were absolutely evil. It’s going to have to get ugly before it gets better. But there is strength in numbers, and there won’t always be enough police to protect these worthless leeches. Seem like if they are willing to put our health on the line, then maybe turnabout is fair play.



    • Bonnie Patrick, LCSW on May 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

      Yes it has to get ugly. The insurance industry is filled with greed and wealth and they are using their influence. The truth is they don’t have any more of a vote than we do. We just need to get our voice out there.



  2. arlys mills on May 5, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    I sent a letter to our local newspaper (part of Gatehouse Media) about HR676 and recieved a reply that basically accused me of putting my name to someone elses name. In the letter I stated the HR 676 could have an impact now similar to the impact of the Social Security Act. i have posted similar sentiments on EONS.com but was told by the newspaper the “identical” letters had been sent to papers all over the country. I have not seen anything similar except what I wrote on Eons and it was not identical. i believe I should have the right to express my view in more than one publication. They are my wors expressing my view and I should not be cesnored or accused of plagerism. I have had a phone conversation and several email exchanges with the assistant editor and have now cancelled my subscription.
    I am a very easy going person but I find myself getting angrier and angrier with this government that is abviously repreenting the money holders. I believed in our government until decsions were made to bail out the big bankers but homeowners, automakers and those of us advocating for single payer health care are ignored.



    • Bonnie Patrick, LCSW on May 5, 2009 at 7:18 pm

      Good we need your anger. Did you sign up to volunteer in your state?



  3. Robin E. Nadeau on May 5, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    H.R. 676, the House bill for Single Payer health care would enroll all Americans into an expanded Medicare (administrative costs 2%) instead of the present for profit health insurance companies and HMOs (administrative costs 25-30%). We have been abused by the private insurance companies for too long. WE DO WANT GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE.between 2000 and 2006 health related costs in America increased by 98%, while overall inflation only increased by 23% (according to Public Citizen Health Letter, 4/2009). America is ranked DEAD LAST among developed nations for health care delivery by World Health Organization. Canadians choose their own doctors, and live longer than Americans (we rank 34th among other nations in longevity ); even impoverished Cuba has a lower infant death rate than we do.



  4. Carol on May 5, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    We the people need to be vocal. As Obama said himself at the August 08 Democratic National Convention:

    “The change we need doesn’t come from Washington. Change comes to Washington. Change happens because the American people demand it—because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time. America, this is one of those moments.”



    • Jan on May 6, 2009 at 1:29 pm

      Carol,

      We cannot believe one single word he uttered and we never will. Do you not see what he is doing? Destroying America. Where do you think this swine flu came from? Look up at the sky, see what looks like jet streams…it is crap being released to weaken our immune systems.. do not ever agree to a flu shot. Not if you value your life.



  5. Bonnie Patrick, LCSW on May 5, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    This is totally incredible. Unless we demand more, we will not get what we deserve. Obama’s concessions with the insurance industry is unacceptable.



  6. Eliza Jane Dodd on May 5, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    BLACK-OUT !!! in all the News Papers I called DALLAS and said if they didnt put HR676 in a article I want to stop my PAPER and ya know what they stopped it …good for me I hope they all fail !And they will Now I will tell the Fort Worth News-Paper the same in the Moring ! Every single POST I ever made on Sinlge Payer was DELETED ! Every mention of HR676 is destroyed …like the uninsured …is ERASED ….We need to become like the Europeans and HANG these Bastards ! on the WHite House Lawn ! Hang them all !



    • Vanessa on May 5, 2009 at 8:03 pm

      WOW, Eliza Jane Dodd, I am very aware of the media blackout on SO, but stopping your subscription and deleting your posts??! It should not even be legal to censor us like that. And that is what media blackouts are, simple censorship. What country do we live in again?

      Donna, thank you for your report– I was thinking, was it accidental that we didn’t really get to see the protesters? Of course not. But what heroes! All of us SP people in Chicago are emailing each other back and forth, sending links out to everyone we know, just plain giddy that some of our SP people took this heroic action! Thanks for being there!



  7. care4all on May 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Everyone should write to President Obama and let him know about their experiences with press blackout, and the fact that Americans don’t have a voice, FAX / CALL / EMAIL the following people. Tell them that SINGLE-PAYER REFORM, SHOULD BE ON THE TABLE AND GIVEN FULL AND FAIR HEARINGS BY THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE.

    TAKE ACTION:

    1. Go to HealthReform.gov. Express your opinion here: http://www.healthreform.gov/communityreports/comments.html

    2. Call and FAX President Obama here:
    President Obama
    The White House
    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20500
    Phone: Comments: 202-456-1111;
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

    FAX: 202-456-2461

    3. WRITE TO YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES. You can find your elected officials’ contact information here: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
    * ASK your Senators to support S 703, The American Health Security Act.
    * ASK your Representative to support HR 676, The United States National Health Insurance Act.

    4. Senator Max Baucus:
    Phone: 202-224-2651
    FAX: 202-224-9412, 202-224-0515, 202-224-5301
    Billings, MT office FAX: (406) 657-6793
    Email: http://baucus.senate.gov/contact/emailForm.cfm?subj=issue

    5. Senator Kennedy
    FAX (Washington, DC): 202-224-2417
    FAX (Massachusetts office): 617-565-3183
    Online form: http://kennedy.senate.gov/senator/contact.cfm

    6. Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi:
    Phone: 202-225-4965
    FAX: 202-225-4188, (202) 225-8259
    Email: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov
    Other emails:
    http://www.speaker.gov/contact or AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov



  8. LjRose on May 5, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    We need to get ON THE PHONE this week and start calling the media AS MUCH as we’re calling our reps and DEMAND the blackout on media coverage of single payer stop.

    By the way, I posted both the CSPAN footage as well as HCNow’s footage next to each other at http://www.singlepayercentral.com. Very interesting and telling to see the difference that arises in viewing both next to each other.

    God bless all of the activists and MDs who did this today. It was a long time coming and needed to be done. Fantastic job – everybody – FANTASTIC.

    Btw, all – I attended one of the “Organizing for America” Listening tour meetings yesterday in Los Angeles. Very large – many attended. HOT HOT HOT topic and constant topic was healthcare and many if not most in attendance were fervent about single payer. We need to harvest this energy. More action!!!!



  9. Time for Single Payer on May 5, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Bravo to the 8 brave, peaceful protesters!

    It is appalling that the majority of Americans have no voice, and are blatantly ignored by Max Baucus, Grassley and much of the Senate who apparently are beholden to the health insurance companies and their lobbyists. I thought our Senators were there to represent their constituents. They should be voted OUT of office. The brazen corruption is disturbing.



  10. kevin jones on May 5, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    We need to vote these corrupt Politicians out of Office, if they will not do the will of the People that have elected them.
    The corruption is so blatant, and in our faces, I don’t know why more people are not livid with anger.



  11. TOM BAYUS on May 5, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    NONE OF THE MEDIA WILL COVER ANY SINGLE PAYER EVENTS OR ANYTHING THAT GOES AGANST THE FOR PROFIT INSURANCE COMPANIES.. WHY IS THAT?? BECAUSE OF THE MONEY THEY SPEND ADVERTISING IN NEWSPAPERS, TELEVISON,MAGAZINES,ETC.. THE ONLY WAY TO GET OUR VOICES HEARD IS TO DO SOMETHING SO RADICAL,THEY HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO COVER IT.. THE HEALTHCARE REFORM GOING ON IN GOVERNMENT IS NOTHING MORE THAN A CHARADE.FOR PROFIT HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE CHOMPING AT THE BIT WAITING FOR HEALTH INSURANCE BECOMING MANDATORY.. MEANING IF YOU DON’T BUY IT, YOU WILL PAY A FINE,JUST LIKE IN MASSACHUSETTS.. BY THE WAY 1000 DOCTORS IN MASSACHUSETTS SENT A LETTER TO TED KENNEDY ASKING HIM TO SUPPORT SINGLE PAYER BECAUSE THE MANDATED INSURANCE PLAN IN MASSACHUSTTES IS A DISASTER… THIS IS THE MODEL FOR OBAMA’S HEALTHCARE PLAN.. CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN MY A**..FIGHT FOR SINGLE PAYER…YOUR LIFE MAY DEPEND ON IT SOME DAY!!!!!!!!!!!



    • Eliza Jane Dodd on May 6, 2009 at 11:43 am

      Funny you say that about TV ..Yesterday Ft.Worth TV News had a Financial Advisor on a Segment .>>He said this>> Financial Advisor >BUY ALL KINDS of Health Care STOCKS and MANY >PHARM STOCKS for your future !!!!!!!How do you like that ????? SOBITCHES !!!! I hate all these freaking people …We must Have a MASSIVE BOYCOTT ! Something to STIR it UP !!!! Something …..I am so upset it isnt funny watching Mad Max BAUCUS laugh and all the others I cant get them out of my head !!!!



      • LjRose on May 10, 2009 at 1:58 am

        Managed care stock skyrocketed this last week. Indeed!



  12. Time for Single Payer on May 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Here’s another strategy (from an email): Use the comments below to craft Letter to the Editor of your newspapers, to blog, and to send to your Senators and Representatives:

    IF YOU HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE, DOES YOUR HEALTH INSURANCE COVER OSELTAMVIR (TAMIFLU) OR ZANAMIVIR (RELENZA), THE MOST COMMON TREATMENTS FOR H1N1 FLU (SWINE FLU)? These treatments should be started within 48 hours of illness.

    The potential H1N1 flu (swine flu) pandemic in America offers yet another example of the health risk that 1500 fragmented private health insurance corporations place on Amercians. Not all private insurance corporation formularies offer Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or zanamivir (Relenza), to patients. These treatments, the only treatments that have been shown to have any effect on H1N1 flu, may be denied outright by your insurance carrier.

    Or, physicians and patients may be required to go through the standard lengthy and expensive pre-authorization process in order to beg the bureaucrats who control the insurance company pharmacies for the most appropriate antiviral treatment for H1N1 flu.

    In addition, the disconnected electronic medical records and disease monitoring and billing systems of the 1500 separate American private health insurance companies prevents timely epidemiological diagnosis and targeting of pandemics, thereby delaying the response of doctors and public health officials.

    WITH SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH INSURANCE FOR ALL, INTEGRATED WITH A SINGLE EMR AND BILLING SYSTEM, FOCI OF DISEASES OR BIO-NUCLEAR TERRORISM COULD BE INSTANTLY IDENTIFIED, ISOLATED AND TREATED WITH AN AFFORDABLE COMPREHENSIVE DRUG AND THERAPEUTIC FORMULARY.

    This possible H1N1 flue (swine flu) pandemic demonstrates yet another dangerous deficiency of private insurance companies which serve no real purpose in the health and well being of Americans.



  13. Chris Palmer on May 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    I find it disgraceful that the Senate Finance Committee treated a group of professional medical representatives and other supporters of single payor health care,like criminals. Our country’s health care is in a deteriorating condition with a good deal of the responsibility lying at the feet of the insurance companies. Our citizens who are losing jobs in large numbers have the added insult of also losing their health insurance. I work in the health care industry as a RN case manager and daily speak to people who are ill and cannot work, so lose their jobs and their health insurance when they need it the most. Single payor health care will take health care out of the hands of employers who have no business having an interest in making health decisions for their employees. Health Insurance companies make decisions that physicians and other medical professionals should be making.

    I always believed that this country was a democracy, however, this display made me wonder. When only those with big money interests in healthcare, who can pay off our legislators, are invited to speak, it makes one wonder what happened to bringing all interests to the table and freedom of speech. This is an action that I would have expected from the past administration. We need physicians and nurses so desperately and when they try to speak for those with no power, they are treated with such blatant disrespect, it is shameful.

    Chris Palmer



  14. clyde winter on May 6, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Single-payer comprehensive universal health care MUST have a seat at the table in each and every Senate hearing on health care reform or the table itself is worthless and must be destroyed.

    If single-payer comprehensive universal health care continues to be denied even a seat at the table by the Congress, there is no better proof that America has government by and for the corporations and the lobbyists, instead of government of, by, and for the people.

    This struggle over the growing health care crisis has now become about more than just the need of the American people for health care that is not controlled, administered, distorted, and denied by the health insurance industry, and the desperate need of the American economy for health care costs to be equitably restrained and controlled rather than be a ballooning cash cow for insurance industry executives and major stockholders.

    This struggle is now about demanding comprehensive health care for all as a human right. This struggle now encompasses demanding that the United States government be our government, and that it serve the American people, not the corporations. This struggle now necessarily includes rooting out and ending, by any means necessary, the blatant legalized bribery that has so fouled and corrupted our government, and the failure of the media to investigate and inform the people of the truth.

    People don’t need no stinkin health insurance, ridden with fine print, loopholes, exclusions, exemptions, discouragement, hidden costs that just say no, and abrupt cancellations. People don’t need their health care and choice of provider to be defined and decided upon by insurance executives, and by whether they are employed when they or their families need health care, and by choices made by individual employers.
    People don’t need health insurance. People need health care.



  15. Eliza Jane Dodd on May 6, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Please EVERYONE HERE CALL NOW TODAY the WHITE HOUSE and TELL THAT OPERATOR WHAT I DID > There is NO DEMOCRACY in AMerica NOT ONE SINGLE PAYER AT THE TABLE and I WANT A REPLY for BAUCUS Laughing at the Protestors from President Obama ! And I want President Obama to Enact HR676 NOW ! Like I said we need a Massive BOYCOTT on SOMETHING or a MASSIVE Bus Trip to The White House !



  16. Eliza Jane Dodd on May 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I have a idea !! Yes Me ! Send Your OLD SHOES to BAUCUS with stinky socs …or to the White House …….anyone with me ????



  17. Voice for America on May 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    We ALL need to stop purchasing news papers .. do not buy gas at CITGO or any other non American company….watch FOX no other news channels….totally ignore the Main Stream Media. DO not give in to any of them, act as though they do not exist. Calling the White House does not help ( they do not care ) they are groomed to tell you nothing…. when you find yourself needing to use a pharmacy…demand to know where you medicine is coming from. BUY NOTHING EVER that is made by BAXTER for any reason….DO NOT TAKE A FLU SHOT….be aware that this flu is most likely man generated with a specific reason….

    Every single person in Washington needs to be removed from office starting with the highest office. We need to act now, time is running out.. American’s are running out of time and being replaced by illegal’s and God only knows who else…I think we might all be plesantly surprised when our very own military and law enforcement sees exactly what is going on … as it affects them too and their families… one of these days, they will do an about face on our very own government……taking back America NOW must be the number one PRIORITY!

    I believe for the most part our letters and phone calls fall on deaf ears, for the few in DC who really do care.. I think that they find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Watch what happens when one or two of the good guys stand up and reveal all.. they will get arrested on the spot by order of one corrupt government!



  18. dianne on May 6, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    What Baucus et al did yesterday was a disgrace to this country and his middle-finger to us. They are our public servants and need to have their feet held to the fire. The mojoriyt of them dine at the same trough. More civil disobedience is an immediate necessity.

    They want to use the failed MA plan. There is no Massachusetts Miracle. The state has a 30% decline in revenues as announced yesterday and is yet another billion over budget. The landmark Fraud in the Guise of Health Reform will have to take a hit. It isn’t even sustainable WITH half of it federally funded!!

    But this crowd in the U.S. Congress are so arrogant that they will go knowingly go forward with a failed model that has harmed hundreds of thousands in MA as well as the state’s economy. Why? Because national health care reform isn’t about your health or your health care. It’s about profits for the insurance companies and more money flowing into the pockets of our so-called public servants and president who don’t truly give a hoot about us.

    Democracy is but smoke and mirrors. Freedom is what we need to fight for at this point. What they are doing to us with the bailouts, bonuses, health care non reform et al is just the beginning of the long stream of scams and lies.

    Bravo to the all those who spoke out yesterday. We are will you. And thanks to all of you in this country who are fighting for health care justice.



  19. Time for Single Payer on May 6, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    WE NEED TO MARCH ON WASHINGTON!! PLEASE LET EVERYBODY KNOW ABOUT THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEDNESDAY. WE NEED TO HELP PULL THIS OFF IN A BIG WAY, AND NOTIFY ALL MEDIA OUTLETS.

    There WILL be a MARCH ON WASHINGTON ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 13TH, the National Lobby Day and Rally for Single-Payer in Washington DC. Find out more here: http://www.healthcare-now.org/2009/04/national-lobby-day-and-rally-for-single-payer-in-dc/

    Also, there will be a Nationwide Day of Action in communities all over the country on Saturday, May 30th. Your Senators and Representatives will be in their districts then – plan to meet with them in your hometown. Find out more here: http://www.healthcare-now.org/campaigns/may-30th-day-of-action/



    • Cheryl on May 12, 2009 at 7:36 am

      There needs to be a march on Washington on a weekend, preferably a 3 day weekend, so that working people could actually attend. This needs to be organized, with buses to transport people. If someone in or near Washington D.C. has a building that they would donate the use of for one night so that low-income people who can’t afford motels would have a place to stay, that would also be helpful. If something as big as Martin Luther King’s march on Washington took place, they would have to pay attention. I overheard someone in the room say “I wonder how many of them there are” as the Baucus 8 were being led out. We need to make it clear that there are many.



  20. Jo Maas on May 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    I hope everyone has read the published testimony of those speaking to the committee. For the most part I was so frustrated, but also so angry that I will keep on fighting…..



  21. Vashti Winterburg on May 6, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    I guess I had a little different take on the Senate hearings goings on. To my knowledge this was the first time we’ve gotten any kind of response from Sen. Baucus on single payer. I like to think single payer voters in Montana are starting to organize and apply some pressure. I say let’s keep pouring it on. I think Nancy Pelosi complaining also shows we must be getting through and hitting a nerve.
    We in Lawrence, Kansas can still get our letters into the local paper and onto the paper’s online service. I’ve noticed that the NY Times also ends up printing single payer letters, even letters praising H.R. 676.
    I think that between those of us who want single payer and those who honestly think Obama’s working to make things better in health care that if the Democrats pass a warmed over Massachusetts plan that it will be a major political blunder for the Democrats.
    Incidentally, my whole family has taken flu shots for years because of virus-induced asthma. In fact, I also got them every year while on active duty in the Navy. We’re rarely sick. A true great deal for the money.
    Keep those faxes, letters, emails, rallies and everything else you can think of coming! H.R. 676! We will prevail, but it’s going to take a lot of work. Vashti Winterburg



  22. jacksmith on May 7, 2009 at 4:39 am

    Swine flu (A-H1N1) and Healthcare In America

    Well my fellow Americans, and people of the World. That was yet another very close potential catastrophe. Especially for those of us that live in America with our busted, greed driven, private for profit healthcare system. What ever you do World. Don’t copy our current healthcare system.

    If that virus (A-H1N1) had emerged just a few months earlier our busted healthcare system in America would have collapsed. Just like our economy almost did. And hundreds of thousands more Americans, if not millions would have needlessly lost their lives. As hospital ER’s became choked with the sick, and dying.

    All on top of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who needlessly lose their lives in America each year from a rush to profit by the private for profit healthcare industry. Rich, middle class, and poor a like. Insured, and uninsured. Men Women, Children, and Babies.

    This was yet another big WAKE-UP! call for America, and for our Government. It’s time for Congress to end the debate. And stop dancing around the issues of how they can continue to try and justify protecting the private for profit healthcare industry, and the private for profit healthcare insurance industry. These industries are killing hundreds of thousands of Americans every year in America, and endangering our National security.

    “the health-care system is, first and foremost, for the American people—not the companies that profit from it.” (Tom Daschle | NEWSWEEK)

    IT’S OVER! The Private for profit healthcare experiment in America is dead. It FAILED! And it was a DISASTER!

    “NOT FOR PROFIT, TAX PAYER SUPPORTED, SINGLE PAYER, AUTOMATIC, FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL. Is the ONLY! way to go.

    Essentially HR676 (enhanced, and expanded medicare for all). Just like every other CIVILIZED! country in the developed World has. There is no other way to truly fix or reform our current disastrous healthcare delivery system. NONE!

    Congress, fix our healthcare crisis while you still have time.

    President Obama, VP Biden, the Obama administration and the rest of his advisors, along with Speaker Pelosi and Harry Reid are doing an excellent job of protecting you. And also an excellent job of representing you and the best interest of the World. But it’s time for the rest of Congress to get on board.

    To those of you who keep standing up and fighting for single-payer universal healthcare for all. YOU! are Americas true HEROES! And I am proud of you. :-) Don’t let up.

    I will have more to say about this VERY! unusual virus (A-H1N1), and flu in general, later. There are some things you really need to know and think about… All of you.

    Till then, God Bless And Keep You All

    Jack Smith — Working Class



  23. Frank Valdez on May 7, 2009 at 9:54 am

    Folks the line has been drawn in the sand! We can no longer afford to hope that our elected leaders will listen to our phone calls, read our letters or our e-mails.
    The corporate owned Senate Finance Committee drew first blood and the struggle must now intensify!
    The labor and civil rights movements did not achieve progress through chit chatting with politicians. They made progress only after utilizing mass demonstrations, sit down strikes, civil disobedience and other means of non-violent protest. WE MUST SHAME THE U.S. Congress before the world, just as we did back in the 60’s! The time is right for STREET HEAT!



  24. Eliza Jane Dodd on May 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    hey waaaaaait a Minute …The Flu Busting the COUNTIES ??? Did you guys know that the Average Wait time in JPS Dallas is 20 Hours Long ? And Last summer a man in his 40’s died >WAITING SAid they do it all the TIME !! What they did to me …they do to other people ..and wanted to know how I erradicated the HBV and detoxed …? I had caught this at work and I never FAILED A DRUG TEST ! The Duke Doctor told me they are all UNEDUCATED in West Tenn …You dont have to inject Drugs or have sex to get HBV or HIV !!!! and they just didnt want to PAY Medical for me …and all the lawyers I called and other doctors would not help me in no way ! Some Lawyers Yelled and hung up on me ! And when they refused me care I never noticed the illegals on the way in …but on the way out I did …and I sat there waiting from 1pm to 9:30 PM ! And they let me leave alone in a bad condition …I had to make a fist and push my upper back all the way home just to breathe ! And now I know why I am still sick because I was sprayed for 7 years with Malithion in West Tennessee !!! So I am not alone with this sickness I have now … I keep reading the OBITS and this week many people have died under 50 Yrs young !!!



  25. Margaret on May 8, 2009 at 11:36 am

    A big kudos and a “Whoooo Hoooo – you tell ‘um” to Russell Mokiber (Single Payer Action), Katie Robbins (Healthcare-NOW!), Dr. Margaret Flowers (Physicians for a National Program- Maryland Chapter), Kevin Zees (ProserityAgenda.us)and Mark Alberg and all those who stood up on May 5, 2009 and were counted at the Senate Hearing. You are truly leading by example and giving hope to our cause!

    I am attending the rally in Washinton DC next Wednesday along with my husband and son (travelling from CT) and plan on attending the rally in NYC on the 30th (none planned for CT it appears). After that I hope to organize a demonstration in front of one of the insurance companies here (in my State it’s very much – so many insurance companies – so little time!).

    The bottom line is that it will take these types of ACTIONS – interrupting hearings, rallys, demonstrations to get the word out, seeing as the media is owned by the corporations now – thank God for the Internet!

    So people put your money where your mouth is – and join the events being planned or plan one of your own (print out the Protest Tool Kit found at this site). POWER TO THE PEOPLE!



  26. LjRose on May 10, 2009 at 2:08 am

    WE NEED SOMEONE TO SHOW UP IN CHICAGO AS WELL NEXT WEEK AT THE WHITEHOUSE HHS HEARING ON COMPARATIVE EFFECTIVENESS IN HEALTHCARE!!!!!!! They closed the nominations but public can show up ON THE DAY of the thing and sign up to participate in a/the public panel.

    Statements ALSO can be submitted – 1500 words or less.

    Don’t you think SOMEbody from the single payer movement should be there? or AT LEAST submit a “statement”?

    READ THE INFO BELOW FIRST, though and tailor to address “comparative effectiveness of healthcare programs” – This meeting has a “…focus on comparing the impact of different options on comprehensive health outcomes, including patient mortality, morbidity, quality of life, and performance of the health system…”

    Here is the info: http://www.blsmeetings.net/MayFCC/



  27. gp505 on May 13, 2009 at 10:21 am

    Below is the article from NBC’s Ken Strickland.
    It was posted on MSNBC and is the only thing immediately Google’able on the protest.

    Note the SLOPPY and SLANTED reporting: “…and in a screaming or loud voice” in the second to last paragraph:

    Five protesters were arrested this morning at a Senate hearing on health-care reform. The protesters — some, who identified themselves as doctors and nurses — were be charged with “Disruption of Congress,” according to the Capitol Police spokeswoman. The Senate Finance Committee hearing was a roundtable discussion between senators and experts on the best way to pay for health-care reform.

    As the hearing opened, about 25 women, who identified themselves as nurses stood up, turning their backs to the senators. Taped to each of their red shirts were signs that called on Congress to pass what’s called a “single-payer system,” a system in which the government alone would run health care — no private insurance.

    “Nurses say patients first,” the signs read. “Pass single payer.”

    After standing silently for about five minutes, the nurses walked out of the hearing in an orderly fashion. They were not escorted by police. But shortly after the group left the hearing, more vocal individual protest began. A person stood up and in a screaming or loud voice, called for Congress to pass the single-payer system.

    “We want guaranteed health care,” one said. “We’re tired of private insurance.”

    Within a minute or so, a police officer escorted the protester out of the room and arrested them in the hallway. This sequence was repeated four more times, ending with the arrest of each individual.