Labor Campaign for
UNIONISTS ARRESTED IN FIGHT FOR HEALTHCARE FOR
ALL WHILE PELOSI CONCEDES TO CORPORATE BLUE DOGS!
Demonstrators "Lock Down" Blue Shield in San Francisco on
Dozens of unionists have put their bodies on the line in a series of
grassroots mobilizations for healthcare for all that is sweeping the
nation. The protests have targeted health insurance companies and have
demanded an end to their profiteering and the establishment of a
Medicare for All single payer system. So far, 115 activists have been
arrested in 8 cities.
California School Employees Association staffer Cindy Young was among
the hundreds who "locked down" Blue Shield of California in San
Francisco yesterday (see above photo). In Los Angeles, members of Labor
Task Force for Universal Healthcare, including Co-Chair Lenny Potash and
LIUNA member Jim Hilfenhaus, were arrested at CIGNA's Glendale
Headquarters. "Insurance companies like CIGNA contribute nothing to the
delivery of healthcare. It's absolutely immoral," said Potash.
Last week, in Portland, Oregon, seven union members were among the 11
arrested at the Regence Blue Cross/Blue Shield headquarters. "We
support improved and expanded Medicare for All as the solution to our
broken healthcare system," said registered nurse and AFGE member Betsy
Zucker. And in Newark, NJ yesterday, New Jersey Industrial Union Council
Executive Vice President Carol Gay was one of the 7 arrestees who had
blocked access to the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield offices. "Far too
many people are dying because of insurance company greed and we intend
to put an end to insurance death panels," said Gay (see photo below).
Protests are continuing with actions today in Baltimore and Louisville,
Friday in Philadelphia and next week in San Diego, Albuquerque, Atlanta,
Detroit and Portland. Go to
for up to date info on planned
Matt Rainey/The Star-Ledger
L-R, Erika Velez, of New Brunswick, and Carol Gay, of
Brick, shout "Healthcare now!" as they are being handcuffed by a Newark
police officer at a protest at the Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield
headquarters in the city today.
Pelosi Reneges on Promises
The Kucinich Amendment would allow individual states to establish their
own single-payer systems. The Weiner Amendment would substitute HR 676
for the main healthcare bill and allow for an historic up and down vote
for single payer in Congress. As the AFL-CIO resolved at last month's
convention, "Whatever the outcome of the current debate over health care
reform in the 111th Congress, the task of establishing health care as a
human right, not a privilege, will still lie before us." Action on both
amendments is crucial for the future of this movement and the Labor
Campaign for Single Payer is calling on all unionists to demand that
Speaker Pelosi stand behind the commitment she made to the movement
for real healthcare reform.
Please call Speaker Pelosi's office at 202-225-4965 today!
Demand that she live up to her agreement to include the Kucinich
Amendment in the final legislation and schedule a vote for the Weiner
Amendment. It is urgent that we act quickly on this. Please pass this
message on to all who will support it.