People in this country are suffering needlessly and literally dying in the streets because our healthcare system is completely broken.
And it won’t get fixed until we, the public, demand it. Too many huge corporations are making too much money—and too many politicians are being bought off. We need to demonstrate the transformative political power of people hurt by the healthcare crisis.
Please join the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association, and over 1000 nurse and patient activists at the Capitol in Sacramento California this Tuesday, May 8th to demand that this country move to guaranteed healthcare.
We will be there to give a wake-up call to politicians around the nation and in California. This march kicks off a furious summer of organizing, as nurses and healthcare activists around the country turn up the pressure on politicians. We’re also launching www.GuaranteedHealthcare.org, a site dedicated to letting patients upload video and text stories about their abuse at the hands of insurance companies in order to build momentum for reform. (It’s just a dummy site now.)
Nationally, despite the public’s repeated plea for healthcare reform, little is happening. Perhaps nothing will until 2009, when America gets the keys to the White House back. In order to influence change we need to create our national healthcare movement NOW. It’s not a movement just because a wide majority of Americans tell pollsters this is the most important issue to them—it becomes a movement when healthcare workers and patients and their friends and family hit the streets, calling out corrupt politicians and healthcare corporations.
The situation is more urgent in California. True—Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed a bill that will take us backwards by increasing the income and influence of insurance companies. And, scarier, some of the Democrats in the legislature also seem ready to climb into bed with the insurance industry. But the good news is that Sen. Sheila Kuehl passed a guaranteed healthcare bill, based on a SinglePayer or “Medicare for All” model, and she’s likely to pass it again. The only way for Arnold to sign the bill is if he meets the overwhelming coalition of nurses and patients that damaged his reputation so badly in 2005–and this is how we make that happen.
And just in case you’re still not convinced…here’s an excellent opinion piece in today’s Chicago Sun-Times about the perils of for-profit insurance, written by the heroic activists at Physicians for a National Health Plan, and here’s a recent article about the widespread racial disparities in health.