single-payerThis week the Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition (PHIMG), including member organizations Healthcare-NOW!, and Act Up!, launched the “Not Covered Campaign” with overwhelming success.

Putting Bill Maher’s recent words into action, “Health insurance is like a hospital gown, chances are your ass isn’t covered,” bare-bottom protesters wore hospital gowns and dressed as Insurance Executives. The protesters jumped through hoops held by the insurance executives symbolizing the proverbial hoops that doctors, nurses, and patients have to go through in the current corporatized health insurance system.

PHIMG, Healthcare-NOW!, Progressive Democrats of America, and Act Up! marched in lock step on Saturday, April 4th with United for Peace and Justice and Bail Out the People through Wall St. to support strengthening the workforce by urging Congress to pass HR676, expanding Medicare into a single-payer system, to provide true universal health care to all.

On the following Monday, PHIMG brought the Not Covered Campaign to Congressman Charles Rangel’s office, whose 2008 campaign received three times the amount of campaign contributions from health insurance and pharmaceutical companies as his last run in ‘04, while conveniently not cosponsoring HR 676 for single-payer health care, as he has in the past.

The group also had a list of demands including meeting with him, cosponsoring the bill, using his power as the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee to hold single-payer health care hearings, and including single-payer advocates – not just the health insurance corporations in the national health care dialog Obama’s administration is so open to having. Barack Obama also supported single-payer health care before his run for President made his campaign the top recipient of contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry.

The group received confirmation that Rangel does support HR 676, and just hasn’t signed on yet. Advocates and constituents look forward to a long sought meeting with Rangel’s staff next week.

The Not Covered Campaign will be in full swing all summer long calling out the Congresspersons that let campaign contributions stand in the way of providing all citizens with single-payer health care – one by one. It’s critical that citizens act now and push Congress to pass HR 676 before we’re stuck with another corporate-endorsed plan that still doesn’t “cover our asses.” Join the fight! Demand nothing less than single-payer health care!

Thanks to Josh Starcher for writing this report.

7 Comments

  1. BARB BF on April 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

    My question about Rangel is…Why isn’t his man in jail???

    http://sweetness-light.com/archive/shocker-rangel-wont-step-down-over-taxes

    Rangel’s Ways and Means Committee writes tax law, among other responsibilities.

    Republicans have been hammering Rangel over the financing of the beachfront property

    “Given Chairman Rangel’s continuing ethical lapses, he cannot effectively carry out his duties as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee,” GOP leaders said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

    Rangel said he felt “embarrassed” for House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio for feeling he had to call for Rangel to step down.

    “It is my understanding that he feels politically he has to do this, and I feel sorry for him,” Rangel said.

    He has also defended himself against allegations that he improperly leased a rent-controlled apartment to use as an office, and that he misused House stationery to solicit money for a New York academic center bearing his name.

    Apparently, Mr. Rangel has thought about it and he has decided to forgive himself.

    After all, he has only gotten illegal loans that he has not reported, skipped paying his taxes on a rental property that goes for $1,100 a night, and lived illegally in four rent subsidized apartments.

    What’s the problem? Taxes, like the rest of such so-called laws, are for the little people.



  2. ILA JONES on April 20, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Why doesn’t the AFL-CIO, Unite Auto Workers and SEIU, Teamsters, etc…all call for a SINGLE-NATIONAL DEMONSTRATION in June?

    These TEENY ‘MEETINGS’ all over the country are mere ‘divide and conquer’ tactics…meant to make us ‘feel good’ as though they (Rangel/Baucus insurance shills) were really listening to the dying!!

    I’M WONDERING IF THE AFL-CIO AND OTHER UNION LEADERS AREN’T ALSO ON THE BLUE CROSS PAYROLL!!! THEY SURE AS HELL DON’T COME OUT SWINGING. DOES ANYONE ‘OUT THERE’ REALIZE THAT STATES LIKE NEW JERSEY ALONE…HAVE 1,000,000 (THAT’S A MILLION) MEMBERS OF AFL-CIO…? THIS IS ONE STATE…New Jersey has 1,000 locals!! NOT A PEEP ABOUT HR 676, other than little press releases saying the unions ‘support’ HR 676…WHAT THE HELL DOES THAT MEAN??
    Let’s get a DEMONSTRATION (NOT A ‘GATHERING’ OR TEENY ‘MEETING’)…IN FRONT OF THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL (PERHAPS WE COULD BRING A NAME–OF SOMEONE WHO HAS DIED OR IS DYING–OR IS LOSING HIS/HER HOME FROM LACK OF HEALTHCARE)!
    Certainly, union members have the RIGHT TO ASK THEIR LEADERS WHY THE SILENCE?
    iijones
    WE ARE WATCHING
    CA-01 GROUP
    HOME OF ‘DO NOTHING’ CONGRESSMAN: MIKE THOMPSON (Grape growing Employer of illegal aliens and NON SUPPORTER OF HR 676)



  3. Watchdog on April 22, 2009 at 1:57 am

    1) Hiring of “illegal aliens” is not an indictment of Thompson in the sense that, of course, no one is illegal…and that probably those “aliens” are descendants of those whose land the U.S. stole anyhow. If Thompson is a hypocrite about that issue…i.e., hiring and misusing those workers while also “cracking down” on illegals, that’s different.

    2) Both the Private Insurance side AND the Single Payer side are covering up things more important than some rear-ends. The hidden monster scandal here, that needs to be exposed, is the matter of For-Profit Insurers’ enormous investments in notorious health-damaging industries and in pharmaceuticals (often health-damaging themselves)…both situations being utterly unacceptable, and even health-harming, Conflicts-of-Interest.
    Investments in health-damaging industries (like cigarette manufacturing, pesticides, chlorine, GE “foods”, nukes, military weaponry, etc.) mean that such insurers have motive and corporate duty to ignore harms from those entities, their own investment properties after all. Google up “PNHP Insurers investments in tobacco” for just a starter.
    Investments in Pharms mean that the insurers have same motive and duty to ingnore harms from their own investment properties’ drugs, and to promote their own drugs over others that may be safer, more effective, and cheaper.

    The info is all Public at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) EDGAR data base. Or just google up name of an insurer with name of a criminal corporation and “SEC” and it may be right there. Not always.

    Or just ask in public, and ask Congress Members: How can the public possibly trust for-profit insurance firms to do business with by “choice” or by Mandate if they are part owners of some of the most health and environmentally damaging businesses on earth?



  4. B. Spoon on April 23, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    I absolutely LOVE that people did this! GREAT job!!!



  5. Ellyn O'Toole on April 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    I am for a single payer, medicare-like, universal healthcare. I don’t think people should be forced to switch from private health insurance if they don’t want to. I think it would be smarter for the two options to compete until it becomes clear that healthcare trumps health insurance and the majority of people switch to the public option voluntarily.



  6. Ellyn O'Toole on April 27, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    P.S. I loved your demonstration.



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