Protesters Demand Network Coverage of Single Payer

From Democracy Now!

Here in New York, demonstrators gathered at ABC News’ Manhattan headquarters Tuesday to present a petition against the exclusion of a single-payer option from coverage on healthcare reform. Earlier this month, ABC News disinvited President Obama’s former physician, Dr. David Scheiner, from a televised forum. Scheiner had planned to question Obama about his rejection of single payer. The petition was organized by the group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. FAIR Communications Director Isabel Macdonald said the exclusion of single payer extends across the major corporate networks.

Isabel MacDonald: “Fifty-nine percent of Americans and 59 percent of physicians support a Medicare for All-type program, or single payer. ABC has not had a single advocate of that system on air this year. So we’re delivering a petition to both ABC and we’re also sending a message to the other TV networks, demanding that they cover single-payer healthcare and stop silencing single-payer advocates.”

The petition’s 11,000 signatories include filmmaker Michael Moore, former MSNBC host Phil Donahue, Doctor Quentin Young and actors Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.


  1. Alejandro Orozco on July 29, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    I urge the Obama administration to stop placating the health care industry by the half-measures being promoted now. We need a single payer health care system. I believe health is a human right. It is not an opportunity for profit. I also urgently request a national media discussion of the single payer option. It is being blacked out currently.

  2. Robert Sweetman on July 29, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Its pretty clear the for profit healthcare insurance companies who get rich off the premature death of others, which I believe is analogous to involuntary manslaughter will always be able to corrupt public servants, until we the people take this country back by storm.

    This is the right issue to finally let Washington know we have had it with their pandering to special interests, against the health of this nation.

    We the people must assemble enmasse in solidarity by mobilizing 100 million American’s to march on the U.S Capitol demanding a Single-payer healthcare plan and we will not leave until the bill is signed by President Obama.

    • charles allen on July 31, 2009 at 2:32 pm

      I agree. I’ll be there. Just tell when and where. We need a Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, or Robert Kennedy to mobilize us to do this.

  3. Doug Dewitz on July 29, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    The exclusion of National Health Care in the health reform discussion is a travesty of American domestic policy. After the commitment of three trillion dollars to defend oil interest in the middle east; the bailout of numerous insurance,banking and large corporate interests, and the apparent declaration of war on the middle class to support insurance interests at the expense of the health of the American people; it is apparent that:
    No discussion of successful National Health Care is evident on network television.
    No factual analysis of successful National health care is presented by the printed daily media.
    Lobbiests have replaced the citizens of America in our representative government as it concerns health care.
    General Eisenhowers warning of the corporate complex overtaking America has resulted in a Faciast take over of the Democratic principles of the American republic.
    National Health Care NOW!

  4. Diane Hebert on July 30, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I find myself increasingly disinterested in national media stories that exclude the real problems of everyday people.Thank God for alternative media where I find real news stories missed or ignored by the national media. I am a supporter of single payer health care and want to know why you are so out of touch with middle America?
    Please cover the single payer option. This option is our only hope.Wake up! We’re not going away.

  5. David on July 30, 2009 at 11:56 am

    The networks have always failed to fulfill their public interest obligations; hence the politicians confuse constituents needs with that of corporations, whose self-interest trump national, American values, embedded in their articles of incorporation. So everyone knows that the profit motives undermines a single-payer health care system, and the mainstream networks are complicit. There will come a time when Americans will unify behind the break up of the networks in the service of smarter integrity-based coverage, as is eventually going to happen to the health care industry.

  6. Michael Bernard on July 30, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    If Peter Jennings were still with us, I’ll bet ABC would be covering Single Payer Healthcare. Peter was a healthcare advocate for many years and was a most respected correspondent and anchorman that I still truly miss on the air.

    Single Payer will take the profit-seeking corporate middleman out from between doctor and patient. Single payer will cover ALL Americans, not just those with enough money or good health to afford insurance. Single payer will guarantee portability, eliminate rescision and non-coverage for pre-existing conditions. Single payer will reduce healthcare costs and the US deficit over time as well as the healthcare costs that have made healthcare reform a necessitiy at this time.

    Medicare and the Veterans Administration are both single payer systems and they are not regarded as socialist programs. Neither would Medicare for All be socialist. It’s simply a way to do without profits in providing healthcare.

    • Joe on July 31, 2009 at 2:46 pm

      Beautifully said Michael
      As my wife and I age our insurance premiums increase at rates far exceeding our growth in income. We have less and less to spend on necessities. We both wonder if our representatives truly are that – OUR representatives. If that were so the ONLY bill before the congress would be a single-payer bill with no options. Excluding the insurance companies entirely. My mind is made up. If a single payer bill is not considered seriously by congress then my congressman will not be getting my vote at election time!

  7. Michael D. McGinnis on July 31, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    It is amazing to me that in all these unscripted town hall discussions and meeting with the president, not one question on why single payer is off the table, when it is the best option for the american people.

  8. Tom Walker on July 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    Notice the absence of media coverage?

    Well done Brian Williams, Katie Couric and whoever the other one is.

    This country is corrupt from top to bottom.

  9. SuZ on August 4, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I’m SO with you, Tom! I was thinking the SAME thing.

    No one seems to have an issue with Socialized Systems for Police, Fire, Ambulance, Libraries, Social Security…

    SOMEONE found a way to gain an insane amount of wealth by making sure that the working class Americans either die for lack of treatment, lose everything they own trying to pay for medical care, or worse..Some lose everything and THEN die.

    This has got to be the most shameful chapter in American History!