Single Payer Now

Posted: Oct 18th, 2011


Occupy Healthcare

Two years ago, on October 15th, demonstrations took place across the country at 15 health insurance company offices. Protesters were demanding that insurance companies immediately grant approval of all medically necessary services to patients who were currently being denied treatment. These requests were met with a typical P.R. response that goes something like “we appreciate your concerns, and will look into this matter soon as possible”.  In an effort to highlight the greed and profit motives which result in denying patients healthcare, dozens of activists were arrested in front of these multi-billion dollar corporations. This was all part of the Mobilization for Health Care for All, a national civil disobedience campaign calling for Improved Medicare for all, a single payer system.

October 2009 was in the heat of the health reform debate, and long-time universal healthcare activists were encouraging a single payer solution, or at the very least, a public option. Neither of these ideas were taken seriously, due to the fact that the legislation was basically written by insurance company executives. Coincidentally, the President’s landmark Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is now under threat of being ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court for including an individual mandate, which is the  primary mechanism for cost savings and the real “meat” of the bill.  Activists, including myself,  were very disappointed and frustrated that our message was not being heard, and as a result,  hundreds of thousands of people would end up dead due to lack of health insurance. Millions more would be forced to declare bankruptcy, and end up on the streets.

Fast forward two years later, mass protests on Wall Street and across the globe. Demonstrators calling for an end to corporate person-hood, egregious tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, and an end to the billions of dollars that get funneled into Washington and control politicians. This is what people have been waiting for, the world finally recognizing that our current fiscal and power structure is failing the majority of people, and there needs to be a significant reorganization of our national agenda.

I am proud to be standing in solidarity with my brothers and sisters in the Occupy movement who are  speaking out against the injustices and criminal practices that have pervaded for far too long.  Enough is enough. We are here, we are educating & organizing ourselves, and not going away any time soon. This movement brings me hope and inspiration. There are so many brilliant, dedicated and passionate people in this world who are willing to speak out and fight for their futures, and the futures of all human beings. Because that is what this is all about, our future. The occupy movement is not about spectators saying “you know what they should do”, but rather one of people coming together, taking initiative saying “you know what we can do”.  Come join us. Organize a teach-in, participate in General Assembly. This is where the fate of the movement will be decided; of the people, by the people and for the people.


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