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following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
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Pay to Play Politics is Unacceptable for Health Care Reform
By Kevin Zeese
ccun.org, May 7, 2009
Yesterday morning, eight doctors,
lawyers and other activists stood up for single payer health care.
We stood up during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.
The hearing was only to hear from the insurance industry, pharmaceutical
companies, HMO’s and business interests. They did not want to hear
about a real national health care plan.
I was one of the eight.
We stood up to the private health insurance industry, to the
corporate power in Congress and demanded a single payer national health
care plan where everybody is in and nobody is out. We want a plan
that ensures the peoples right to choose their own doctor, hospital and
health care treatment. We want a plan that will control costs –
something that cannot be done unless the insurance industry, HMO’s and
pharmaceutical companies are challenged.
The Senate Finance
Committee which has taken millions from the insurance industry, HMO’s,
pharmaceutical industry – those that profit from health care in America
only scheduled their donors to speak. It was pay to play on display in
Washington, DC before the corrupt Senate Finance Committee.
stood up and told the truth. The Emperor Has No Clothes we said.
We were arrested and charged with “disruption of Congress” a euphemism
for telling the truth in Congress.
You can see the C-SPAN and
other video on our new website
ProsperityAgenda.US. You can see the news reports from The
Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Politico, Democracy Now and
National Public Radio which all carried stories about the protest.
Prosperity Agenda is an economic justice project of the
Campaign for Fresh Air
and Clean Politics. You can help us develop an economy for
all, including a health care system for all, by participating – share
your comments, ideas and strategies. Join our effort.
Baucus, invited his major donors to the table: the health insurance
industry was there, so were the Chamber of Commerce, the right wing
Heritage Foundation, the Business Roundtable, Blue Cross Blue Shield and
corporate liberals who have sold out the people like Andy Stern, Ron
Pollack and AARP.
But the most popular and efficient health care
reform was not at the table. It was not mentioned even though it
is the one favored by a majority of doctors, nurses, economists and the
American people. Only those who paid to play were included.
For the last few weeks people have been calling and emailing Senator
Baucus and other Finance Committee members urging them to include single
payer advocates. We were told – no, no one for single payer would
be allowed to speak.
So, yesterday, at 10 a.m., the Baucus
Eight, led by Prosperity Agenda and other single payer advocates, took
to the Senate Finance Committee. We confronted the committee in front of
a room filled with their campaign donors, in front of the American
people watching live on C-SPAN and we told the truth. Three
doctors joined us, spoke up and got arrested. The effort was
endorsed by Physicians for a National Health Program – doctors are
standing up for their patients saying “single payer now.”
focused on corporate corruption of the senate and told the senators we
need them to put the necessities of the people before the profits of
their donors. We do not need a pay to play Blogojevich committee
with a Blogojevich Chairman putting on phony hearings to fool the
Last week Senator Richard Durbin said the banks "own" the
Congress. This week it is evident, that when it comes to health care the
health care profiteers own Congress, especially the Senate Finance
Committee. If we do not put forward organized, aggressive, grass
roots action we will see a swindle of the American people. In the
name of false health care reform billions in tax payer dollars will go
to campaign donors and the health care problem will continue to worsen.
It is time for concerted action.
We have the power to
ensure health care for all in a national single payer health care
program that ends the corruption of the health insurance industry, the
HMO’s and the pharmaceutical industry.
We can do it . . .
Let’s make it happen.
Kevin Zeese is the
Executive Director of Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics whose
Prosperity Agenda Project is advocating for an economy for all,
including health care for all.
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