Protesters tell PBS – Put Single Payer Back on the Table

From Private Health Insurance Must Go!

Earlier today, PHIMG members gathered in front of WNET-PBS TV’s 33rd street office to voice displeasure over Frontline’s Sick Around America program. Sick Around America treated mandatory for-profit insurance coverage as the only alternative to the current U.S. health care system and perpetuated the media‚Äôs longstanding pattern of ignoring proposals for single-payer health insurance.

We enjoyed a larger than expected turnout. We had signs saying: “PBS – [P]erpetuating the [B]lackout of [S]ingle Payer.”, “PBS stop taking Insurance Company and Drug Donations”, and one with the head from PBS’s logo (which is supposed to represent a member of the public) saying: “I want Single Payer Health Care Reform”. Several people wore the “Your ass is not covered” regalia and had signs reflecting that message and also “Pass HR-676”.

We chanted: “We want a real healthcare debate” and “End the Single Payer blackout.”

Because we got there so early, and because of the location of the subway, nearly every employee in the building walked past our picket and read our signs and heard our chants. About half took our fliers. We gave out over 500 in a little over an hour and a half. The Associated Press has a large office in this building so we no doubt made an impression with these folks as well.

Katie Robbins gave a flyer to none other than Bill Moyers, and thanked him for his coverage of the California Nurses on his “Bill Moyers Journal” show.

Moyers sent out a producer and cameraman to record our action. They interviewed Katie Robbins and Chris Blair. This footage might be used on the Bill Moyers Journal program.

This action was proposed, developed and executed in a little more than a week. I think all those who attended will agree that it was a smashing success!


  1. Eliza Jane Dodd on April 16, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Since 2003 HR676 Has been Around …Yes they sound like they are Bought and Paid for by The Mafia “Health Care Co.’s” I will never Donate to PBS again if they dont support HR676 Universal Health Care .This should be Front Page, Prime Time News ! If they dont show this I will Boycott and tell everyone I know and everyone I dont what PBS really is and it is not HUMANITARIAN !

  2. Connor on April 17, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    I turn to PBS for a variety of things and would certainly not make a decision about watching or donating on the basis of one program! I don’t think such hysterical demands and picketing are likely to have the desired effect. I urge all of us who are interested in single-payer to watch for opportunities to persuade people that it’s the only way —in a reasonable, non-threatening manner. If people get the idea that advocates of single-payer are a bunch of strident partisans, incapable of listening and discussing— well, it’s human nature, they’ll write us ALL off as crazies. Let’s be careful, if we want to influence this public policy debate in the right direction.