Occupy Wall St. Single-Payer March Roundup

Healthcare-NOW! NYC Organizer Katie Robbins address the crowed at the Occupy Wall Street universal, single-payer healthcare march on October 26th.

Here’s the press release about the march:

Wall Street’s control of health care is exposed in a march/speak-out today that starts at the offices of Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a subsidiary of WellPoint, the largest publicly-traded health insurance company. We are gathering at Liberty Square at 3pm and marching at 4:30pm!

Empire is housed across the street from the OWS encampment in the same building as Brookfield Properties, the multinational that owns Liberty Square (formerly Zuccotti Park). WellPoint’s CEO, Angela Braley, was compensated $13.1 million dollars last year.

Other targets include WellCare, the for-profit company that administers Medicaid and Medicare Advantage programs in New York and other states, currently being investigated for illegally siphoning $400-$600 million from programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The march will end at St Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village, closed earlier this year due to bankruptcy, and seen as a casualty of profit-driven insurers. There are now no hospitals on the West side below 57th St.

“We need a healthcare system that meets human needs, not the insurance company’s bottom line,” said Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal of Physicians for a National Health Program. “People can’t get care they need because of unaffordable co-pays and deductibles that line the pockets of insurance CEOs and shareholders.”

“I have a health insurance plan with a $15,000 deductible, so our family has to ration healthcare,” said Katie Robbins of Healthcare-NOW! NYC. “We have to get Wall Street out of our healthcare system.”

The march was initiated by an OWS Working Group called Healthcare for the 99%, which is composed of healthcare workers and people who seek to end inequality in our healthcare system and our society.

Other Coverage of NYC March

ALL HANDS: Need show of force today in NYC #OWS march against Murder By Spreadsheet health insurers – Daily Kos.

Protest March To St. Vincent’s – Joe. My. God.

“West Coast ‘Occupy’ Clash Sparks NYC March; Ends In At Least 10 Arrests” (mentions Healthcare-NOW!) – NY 1.

“Occupy Wall Street Protests Health Care System at St. Vincent’s Site” – DNAInfo.com

Occupy demonstrators to march on bank headquarters – Chicago Tribune

Occupy Wall Street Doctors: MDs for Social Justice Join Protest In Liberty Square – AlterNet

Single-Payer Healthcare Supporters at Occupations Nationwide

Louisville, KY

Philadelphia, PA

Occupy Philly Sigle-Payer Healthcare March – Oct. 18, 2011 from Healthcare-NOW! on Vimeo.


  1. K.Rout on October 31, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Single payer is the only way to go, really. As long as health insurance is a business, there will be attempts to avoid payment for “covered” costs, refusals to cover risky people, cancellations when people make claims that look like there will be bigger ones in the future, or costs for decent coverage that people cannot afford to pay. We don’t mind accepting less than prime clothing, food, or housing, if our incomes are not huge, or having fewer vacations and cheaper cars, but health care is literally a matter of life and death.

  2. John Lefavour on October 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    all citizens of U.S. should call and instrct their senators and congresmen to insist on single payer health for all now or be voted out or recalled where possible.

  3. TerryFlowers on October 31, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    We all need to sign this petition so that H.R. 676 will be brought out of committee, before Congress and enacted into law. Please SIGN and SHARE this petition ~

    • Linda Sherrod on November 1, 2011 at 9:13 am

      Singe Payer is smart medicine. Non profit health insurance would be second best, but workable. Unfortunately, almost all of Congress is in the pocket of the insurance companies.