John Boehner Didn’t Cry for Us, He Locked Us Out of His Office

John Boehner
A Capitol Police Officer oversees us deliver 2,100 letters to Rep. John Boehner asking him not to cut Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.

Thanks to all of our supporters, over 2,100 people signed our petition asking Speaker of the House John Boehner not to cut or privatize Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.

Many of you shared your personal stories with the Speaker in the hopes that he will take those who are uninsured, underinsured, and/or living in poverty into consideration before he calls for cuts to our social insurance programs.

As promised, on June 7th we–a handful of members of Healthcare-NOW!, Progressive Democrats of America, Physicians for a National Health Program, and the Grey Panthers–delivered a stack of all 2,100 signatures and letters to John Boehner’s office. We asked to meet with the Speaker, but he was unavailable. Then we asked to meet with his health legislative aide, but he/she wasn’t available either.

So we asked to read your letters aloud in his office until the Speaker was available to meet with us. Before we finished reading the first letter, the Capitol Police arrived and asked us to leave. We handed the stack of letters for John Boehner to his receptionist and then were immediately escorted from the office. The police locked the door behind us as we left.

Determined to have our stories heard, we continued reading your letters in the hallway in front of John Boehner’s office. We posted photos from our visit to John Boehner’s office here. And Alison McLeod, RN, BSN created a great video of the visit below.

Here’s Alison’s account of the visit:

“In D.C., I had the honor of participating in (and videotaping) an action at Speaker of the House John Boehner’s office. Katie Robbins of Healthcare-Now collected hundreds of testimonials from people who have suffered under the present profit –driven system – and will suffer more if Medicare and Medicaid are further defunded and privatized. These stories made us cry, and since John Boehner has a tendency for weepiness, we each came armed with a box of Kleenex. Boehner wasn’t there, and his aide called the security guards, so we had to read the testimonials in the hall.
But we left behind the stories – and the Kleenex.”

Alison McLeod, RN, BSN
Southern Arizona Field Organizer
Progressive Democrats of America


  1. Teresa Dimond on June 14, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    I just have a question. I was told that members of congress do not have to pay into social security but they are able to recieve it. Is this true?

  2. Katie on June 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Good question. I pulled this from the Social Security Administration’s website:

    Q5: Is it true that members of Congress do not have to pay into Social Security?

    A: No, it is not true. All members of Congress, the President and Vice President, Federal judges, and most political appointees, were covered under the Social Security program starting in January 1984. They pay into the system just like everyone else. Thus all members of Congress, no matter how long they have been in office, have been paying into the Social Security system since January 1984.

    (Prior to this time, most Federal government workers and officials were participants in the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) which came into being in 1920–15 years before the Social Security system was formed. For this reason, historically, Federal employees were not participants in the Social Security system.)

    Employees of the three branches of the federal government, were also covered starting in January 1984, under the 1983 law–but with some special transition rules.

    1) Executive and judicial branch employees hired before January 1, 1984 were given a one-time irrevocable choice of whether to switch to Social Security or stay under the old CSRS. (Rehired employees–other than rehired annuitants–are treated like new employees if their break-in-service was more than a year.)

    2) Employees of the legislative branch who were not participating in the CSRS system were mandatorily covered, regardless of when their service began. Those who were in the CSRS system were given the same one-time choice as employees in the executive and judicial branches.

    3) All federal employees hired on or after January 1, 1984 are mandatorily covered under Social Security–the CSRS system is not an option for them.

    So there are still some Federal employees, those first hired prior to January 1984, who are not participants in the Social Security system. All other Federal government employees participate in Social Security like everyone else.

    This change was part of the 1983 Amendments to Social Security. You can find a summary of the 1983 amendments elsewhere on this site.

  3. Tom on June 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    What kind of insurance do you think Blue Cross will offer you if you’re 80,have diabetes,a heart problem or cancer.. With the Republican plan for Medicare, you will have 2 choices if you get sick…1.Lose everything you own and go broke ..2.Just die… That’s all you will have if Medicare is turned over to the for profit health insurance companies.. This is what Republicans want.. SEND THEM ALL PACKING IN 2012!!!!!

  4. Richard Olmsted on June 17, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    GOOD JOB. These elected officials who want PAID HEALTH CARE for themselves and WANT to CUT care for middle Americans
    ( INSTEAD OF expanding to SINGLE-PAYER for ALL Americans )
    are disgusting greedy pigs.

    We should ALL make phone calls DAY & NIGHT for one full month to the offices of these pathetic “leaders” and tie up the phones and office help and make it extremely difficult to run the offices BECAUSE they are NOT doing anything constructive anyway.

  5. Kimber on June 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Thanks for keeping working on the issue of affordable healthcare for everyone!!!!!

  6. Ellen Franzen on June 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    Well, I’m embarrassed for the Speaker and his staff. He doesn’t want to hear the voices of the people? What’s wrong with this picture? Shouldn’t the capitol police order him to listen?

  7. Steve Smith on June 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    Perhaps our next petition to Mr. Boehner should ask him to publicly define “representative democracy” as he and his staff see it.

    • 4Heavenssake on June 17, 2011 at 4:24 pm

      Yes, wouldn’t that be interesting!

  8. Donald L. Mercer on June 17, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    Unconsciencable RethugliKKKans are a pox on this Nation. They should be locked out of Congress to never darken that door again! When God gets tired of their lieing, conniving, jiving, and disgusting display of arrogance, hubris, and moral terpitude ~ they will learn WHO GOD REALLY LOVES and it ain’t the privileged, rich, stingy, mean spirited Speaker Boehner (pronounced BONER)!

  9. Sue Saltmarsh on June 17, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    BRAVO, Healthcare NOW warriors! If only everyone in the country could see this! It would have been interesting to see what Boehnor did with those testimonials – my guess is that a check of the dumpsters behind the building might have shown us what he thinks of the people he represents! I agree with Tom – 2012 should be an undeniable rejection of the greed, selfishness, and profiteering of Republicans. But we also need to let our Democrats know that they need to quit being weenies and do what we sent them there to do!

  10. Karl Kay on June 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Representitives like Bohner really are a crying shame, Not because they become tearful but because they, like the character in the Wizzard of Oz, have neither heart, nor concern for the damage they cause. Maybe they cry because they’re ashamed for their own actions.

  11. Graciela on June 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    Is the Speaker of the House a dictator? Are we not a democracy? He suppose to serve the people of this country!

    • Steven on July 10, 2011 at 9:20 am

      He does, this doesn’t mean that 7 people can hang out in his office all day. It would be no different if the Tea Partiers tried to hang out in Pelosi’s office.

      Stop being so simple-minded.

  12. Arliss Pereau on June 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    Boehner is showing his true self. He seems to believe that he can lie, accept money from people who are trying to influence politics in unhealthy ways, and then hide from reality. He did not appear honest to me from the vry beginning. We need people who will work for their constituents, not just for other affluent people like themselves.

  13. David R. Arellanes on June 17, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Great job Healthcare NOW! My wife and I were able to participate in this same type citizen action with your D.C. group during the Health Care Debate. It was successful, so this was and is successful. Mr. Boehner does not care about the people of our country. He only cares about the Corporations and their CEO’s. Anything for a profit. Anything to enhance the bottom line. Do anything necessary to get that bonus for the CEO’s. Because when you do, Mr Boehner, then you are assured of getting that much needed campaign donation to the tune of $$$million’s$$$ of dollars. You live off OUR hard earned wages. Your healthcare is paid by OUR hard earned wages. Your multiple homes were bought through OUR hard earned wages. Your multiple cars, and limo rides, and airplane flights, and trips to other country’s, and your whiskey, and your suits, and your shoes, and your staff, and your maid / butler / cook / house cleaning service, and the Kleenx to wipe up your aligator tears are ALL paid for by OUR hard earned wages. I would tell Mr Boehner: You should be ashamed of yourself, but to actually be ashamed he would first have to have a soul and a conscience.

  14. Edith Kenna on June 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Great going, Healthcare-Now..Boehner cries for himself; quite self serving. As a social worker, everyday in every way, people are suffering due to inability to access healthcare; which John Boehner clearly takes for granted. latest example; a woman with a serious mental illness, FINALLY employed full time; great job, great salary; however, Aetna, her newinsurance company, after being uninsured for 8 years, found she had a pre-existing condition; refused all treatment; therapy and medication….and of course, she became sick and lost her job. Go, America…Mr. Boehner be sure to cry for your inane system that brings everyone to the lowest level…Medicare for All…this never would have happened under a single payer system.

  15. John on June 18, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Boener, bought and paid for by corporate money. We can expect him to behave accordingly. Vote the corporate psychophant out of office. Follow the money trail and expose his corrupt and misleading arguments.

  16. Jeff Joseph on June 18, 2011 at 11:17 am

    To show up with a half dozen Twentysomethings is not smart. I applaud these kids. A group of 200 to 300 Seniors would be much more effective.
    They could be recruited from DC area AARP Chapters.
    You need a Professional Marketer.

  17. Joel Weddington MD on June 27, 2011 at 1:04 am

    Boehner has been recently courted by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and is representing their interests. Organized medicine is taking a stand against any reform, including single payer. They will be the next resistance after insurers. I am an MD and follow this closely. We will need to fight this large group of doctors before we can pass single payer. Let’s get ready.

  18. Coline George on July 8, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    The only reason Obama is president is because we got out in numbers to big to erase. We must get out in numbers to big to erase to get rid of Boehner and others like Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Georgia senators and representatives where the polls don’t seem to be closely watched. A friend once said “I don’t know anyone who voted for those people yet we are told they won the election”. Many have quit voting because they feel their votes don’t count. I vote because I feel every vote makes it harder for the bad guys to erase. Please join me in encouraging others to get out in great numbers to rid America of their destruction.