Next Wave of Health-Care Sit-Ins

by Chris Sturr | October 30, 2009

The Mobilization for Health Care for All had its latest big wave of sit-ins for single-payer on Wednesday (and this wave is ongoing). Here’s their report:

Yesterday [Oct. 28th], the next wave of the Mobilization for Health Care for All began with great success. See below for a list of media coverage of the actions.

In 11 cities across the country, hundreds of everyday Americans who want Medicare for All confronted the insurance companies and demanded that they redirect the money they’re spending to control our democracy to pay for the care they deny to their members. Almost every company refused to even talk to us, and 37 people were arrested including doctor Matt Hendrickson at a Cigna office in Glendale, California. Dozens more – like the 30 people who blockaded the Blue Cross office in San Francisco for hours – sat in but weren’t arrested. In Rhode Island, however, the protestors who joined cancer patient Robert Darling in occupying the UnitedHealthcare office won the first concessions of our campaign – a company representative agreed to give an answer to Robert about paying for his previous bone marrow transplant within 24 hours and to arrange a meeting for the group with the UnitedHealthcare CEO within a week! After 115 arrests in 18 cities, these companies are starting to feel the heat of our movement. And with more than 900 people now signed up to sit-in, this battle is just beginning.

Today, the Mobilization continued in Louisville, Kentucky and Baltimore, Maryland. The brave folks in Louisville are in the 9th hour of their sit-in inside the Humana headquarters as we send out this email. Humana is trying to wait them out, but may are prepared to stay overnight if they have to.

In Baltimore, four people were arrested at a CareFirst (Blue Cross) office including two doctors. One of those doctors, Margaret Flowers of the “Baucus 8,” has withheld her name and is planning to stay in jail until the CEO of CareFirst, Chet Burrell, agrees to a public meeting with her.

Please call Mr. Burrell immediately and regularly at 410-528-2222 to demand that he agree to meet publicly with Margaret.
You can also email CareFirst by going to http://www.carefirst.com/email/html/ContactMediaRelations.html. Send the following message in your email:

I am writing to urge CEO Chet Burrell to agree to a public meeting with Dr. Margaret Flowers who was arrested at the CareFirst office in Baltimore while demanding to meet with Mr. Burrell about CareFirst business practices. She is going to stay in jail until Mr. Burrell agrees to a public meeting with her. CareFirst must publicly account for the serious concerns that citizens have about your company’s practices.

Also, please donate generously today so we can be prepared to pay any bail that is set for Margaret’s release. She decided to risk arrest and stay in jail despite a possible 6 month jail sentence for violating probation from her previous arrest in the fight for real health care reform – let’s show her that we’ve got her back. Please donate today to support Margaret and post messages of support for her at our Facebook page (we’ll read all messages to her over the phone when she calls from jail).

The Mobilization continues in Philadelphia tomorrow, and in more cities across the country next week. Click here for updated lists of all the upcoming actions and info about how you can plug in and participate. The insurance companies, the politicians in their pockets, and even some of the corporate media apparently want our movement to go away. But it’s just getting started and spreading across America. Let’s show them we’re not going anywhere and we won’t stop until health care is a right for everyone in America.

Thanks for everything you do.

—Katie, Kevin, Kai, Julia, Lacy, and the Mobilization team

Press Coverage from 10/28:

San Francisco Chronicle

South Florida Sun-Sentinel

NJ.com (Star-Ledger / Trenton Times / Jersey Journal blog)

projo.com (Providence Journal blog)

Glendale News-Press

National Public Radio, Topics

Democracy Now

Free Speech Radio News

Huffington Post

Institute for Public Accuracy

Atlas Press Photo

La Jornada (Mexico)

OpEdNews (featured story about doctors, by Kevin Gosztola):

OpEdNews (about Philadelphia rally)

Bay Area Indymedia (quality article, good for reference):

Press Coverage from 10/29:

Southern Maryland Online

Wave3.com

WFPL News

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  1. I emailed CareFirst and encourage all readers to do the same.

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