Protesters Rally Outside Health Forum

By Kate Duffy for WCAX News

Supporters of a single-payer system of health care used a special White House forum to send a message to the man in the Oval Office.

“Barack Obama said it at an AFL-CIO meeting in 2003 that he was an advocate of the single-payer health care system,” said Dr. Deb Richter, who helped organize the protest. “He said we had to take back the White House and take back the Senate and take back the House, which they’ve done. Now it’s time to get the single-payer bill he promised.”

About 200 people gathered outside the Davis Center to push for a system they describe as “Medicare for all.” It would make coverage portable — people could change jobs without losing their coverage — and eliminate the insurance companies one provider described as middlemen who made her jump through hoops.

“I worked 40 years as a clinical social worker doing psychotherapy,” said Larilee Suiter of Charlotte. “All the last 20 years got worse and worse as I spent more and more time negotiating on the phone with providers who were giving limited coverage or denying coverage.”

Suiter said her professional and personal experiences with the health care system motivated her to push for a single-payer system.

“The insurance hoops were so challenging to cover,” she said, “it was taking more time than I was willing to give and still see patients and I think that’s true of providers everywhere.”

Organizers said the protest drew people from all over the Northeast, including New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and New York.

“We drove three hours to make sure the message is everyone in the country needs health care,” said Jaime Contois of Keene, N.H.

Of course, such a system will not come cheap. But advocates say it would be more efficient — and eventually save money.

“Essentially what you’d have to do is the ugly T word — we need to publicly finance it through taxes,” Dr. Richter said. “We have to recognize we Vermonters, we Americans are paying the full bill right now anyway. We’re paying it in the form of taxes, out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles, co-pays, increasing premiums, lower wages at work. We’re paying the entire bill anyway.”

There is a bill in Congress that would provide comprehensive taxpayer-funded health coverage. The legislation, known as H.R. 676, has been referred to a House committee, but no other action has been taken on it.

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  1. jacksmith on March 18, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Finally, the time has arrived to fix Americas Healthcare crisis, and Americas healthcare knightmare. Hundreds of thousands of you are killed needlessly every year by your healthcare delivery system in a rush to profit. And because of a rush to profit Hundreds of thousands more of you are needlessly dying from treatable illness that people in other developed and civilized countries don’t DIE! from. Rich, middle class, and poor alike. Insured, and uninsured. Men, women, children, and babies.

    Additionally, thousands more of you are driven into financial ruin, and bankruptcy just because you, or one of your loved ones got sick or injured. And all of this is happening at a time when America spends twice as much of it’s GDP (Gross Domestic Productivity) on health care than any other country in the developed world. Individual Americans spend about ten times as much on health care as any other people in the developed world. This is a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY. AND IT MUST END!

    But before we can truly fix this healthcare crisis and disgrace, everyone needs to clearly understand what the problem is. And everyone needs to clearly understand the real enormity of the problem. The problem is that HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL DELIVERY IN AMERICA IS SEVERELY CORRUPTED AND COMPROMISED BY GREED! AND THE PRIVATE FOR PROFIT MOTIVE. And it is corrupted, and compromised IN EVERY ASPECT, AND EVERY PLACE OF HEALTHCARE AND MEDICAL DELIVERY. Unfortunately for all Americans, compromised healthcare ALWAYS results in needless suffering, injury, disability, and or death. Which is exactly what is happening now in America in shocking numbers.

    Health care is NOT! a private for profit business. Healthcare is an essential public service. Like police, and fire. And healthcare is also a human right! PRIVATE FOR PROFIT HEALTHCARE IS AN OXYMORON, AND AN IMMORAL AND UNETHICAL PERVERSION OF HEALTHCARE AND HUMAN RIGHTS.

    So how do we fix this healthcare disgrace? I believe the fix for Americas healthcare disaster is essentially the same thing that every other developed country in the World has essentially done. “NOT FOR PROFIT, TAX PAYER SUPPORTED, SINGLE PAYER, AUTOMATIC, FREE UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR ALL. 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 and reform our current disastrous healthcare delivery system.

    All Universal health care systems work best when everyone participates. But I know that the healthcare lobby, and some politicians will try and undermine “Not For Profit, Tax payer supported, Single payer, Automatic, Free Universal Healthcare for all” by falsely claiming that it will limit your choice, and require you to participate.

    So, I propose that everyone be included in the national plan unless they choose to opt out. If you opt out and need medical care the national plan will insure your provider that they will be reimbursed under the rules for members in the national plan. But those who opted out, and their insurer will be responsible for the FULL! cost to the national plan for providing your care if you or your private insurer fails to reimburse the provider or the national plan in a timely manor to at least the standards of the national plan.

    Including reporting you to credit agencies, withholding of taxes, leans, and garnishment of wages for unpaid medical bills. Just like you have now under private for profit healthcare, and private for profit health insurance.

    Further, people who opted out will be required to provide proof of financial responsibility for future illness or be required to participate in the national plan. And everyone with children will be required to participate in the national plan. Or provide proof of insurance coverage on each child to the standards of the national plan. It will be against the law to report anyone in the national plan to a credit agency for unpaid medical bills.

    Frankly, only a dope would want to opt out of the national plan and opt to keep our current disastrous private for profit medical, and insurance plans. But they will be free to choose. The most important thing is that the vast majority of Americans that want the protection, benefits, and higher quality of a universal national plan have that choice.

    You see, one of the most important aspects of a universal healthcare system is easy access, and patient protection. This is accomplished by having a single payer without a conflict of interest in patient care. And by having a payer who has the power to enforce minimum standards of excellence in healthcare delivery for everyone in the plan. This is much of what Medicare does now for senors. “Aeger Primo” (The patient first). Unfortunately in our healthcare system the patient comes last. We are just a peace of meat to them. Cash cows to be slaughtered for profit.

    So this is IT! my fellow Americans, My fellow human beings, My fellow World Citizens. And my fellow Cyber Warriors. :-) The time has come. D day. H hour. HEALTHCARE REFORM THIS YEAR! Let no one stand in our way. Contact your representative and tell them you want “Not For Profit, Tax Payer Supported, Single Payer, Automatic, Free Universal healthcare for all. And tell them you want that choice now. Tell them you want President Obama’s budget passed without delay. President Obama’s budget is brilliant. And exactly what is needed now.

    President Obama, and his allies will need all the support you can give them. The healthcare lobby will try to take out his people if they can, like they did with Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer. And they will try to neutralize President Obama’s popularity, and political power. Or they will try to take him down someway. Don’t stand for it. If they attack him. Go after them ten times harder and remove them from office. We had an election. And you the people chose President Obama’s leadership, and change agenda. Let no one in government disrespect the will of the American people and remain in office.

    To President Obama, his Cabinet, the Congress of the United States, and the Supreme Court. I have noticed for some time a disturbing tendency for key members of your bodies to come down with illness, or medical problems at critical legislative times. This may just be coincidence. But I can tell you that there are a million subtle ways to medically injure someone just by doing nothing when something needs to be done. Or by doing things to someone when nothing needs to be done except to give them reassurance. I know for a fact that there are those that would have no qualms about hurting any of you to preserve our current disgraceful medical status quo.

    So, I recommend as a matter of national security that you enlist the help of a friendly power to regularly review, and oversee the medical care you receive from your local regular healthcare providers. Briton, France and many other countries have excellent medical providers. As well as Canada. Briton, and Canada may be less of a language barrier for Americans.

    Let’s get this healthcare reform done now my fellow Americans. This year. Take no prisoners.

    God Bless All Of You

    Jack Smith — Working Class :-)

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    Ensour also dismissed reports that forces from the US special operations and CIA spy agency members were training militants fighting against the Syrian government on the Jordanian soil.

  4. Doreen on July 19, 2013 at 9:17 am

    I thank the protesters for standing up for human decency, to stand up for our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, neighbors, friends, all our fellow human beings! To stand up for our neighbors very lives! To love your neighbor as you love yourself! Americans are sick & tired & Angry with our train wreck healthcare system! WE WANT CHANGE NOW! HEALTHCARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT! WE THE PEOPLE MUST DEMAND THIS! WE CANNOT ABANDON OUR FELLOW CITIZENS AND WATCH THEM DIE WITHOUT HEALTHCARE! LETS MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD! THIS GREAT EVIL MUST BE STOPPED!