Single-Payer Healthcare Supporters Launch Civil Disobedience Campaign

Photo by Jeff Muckensturm

 by JEFF MUCKENSTURM

On the same day that the Senate Finance Committee rejected including a public option in their health insurance bill, seventeen single-payer supporters were arrested at Aetna's New York City offices to kickoff a national campaign of civil disobedience targeted at the private health insurance industry.

The campaign, called Mobilization for Health Care for All , initiated by Healthcare-NOW!Prosperity Agenda, and the Center for the Working Poor, already has over 500 people willing to risk arrest to demand an end to a system that profits by denying people care by removing private insurance from the system and replacing it with improved Medicare for all. Similar actions are being planned all over the country, including next week in Chicago.

The 17 participants in New York City, wearing T-shirts with slogans that read “Medicare for All” and chanting “Patients, not profits!,” linked arms and sat down in the lobby of the Aetna building, prompting Aetna employees to step around them on their way into their offices, where insurance claim reviewers are busy looking for ways to deny people the lifesaving treatment that they need. A crowd of supporters picketing outside the building held signs that said “Aetna is the real death panel,” and “Single-payer now.”

Participants in the action demanded that the insurance company immediately approve all doctor-recommended lifesaving treatments in their files, stating that they would not leave until Aetna approved care. Aetna, however, refused to meet with their representative.

This is the second arrest of non-violent, single-payer supporters at a private health insurance company office building in recent months. Nine were arrested at Wellmark's offices in Des Moines, Iowa this summer.

To join the campaign, or learn more, go to www.mobilizeforhealthcare.org.

Jeff Muckensturm is Web Coordinator and grant writer for Healthcare-NOW!, an organization fighting for a national, single-payer healthcare system

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Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump

February 17, 2017 · $20.00 USD

Location: MayDay Space
Where: 176 St Nicholas Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11237
When: Friday, February 17th at 6 PM to Sunday, February 19th to 4 PM

Political Context

This Presidents’ Day weekend, the Young Democratic Socialists will gather for our annual winter conference in New York City titled Revolution at the Crossroads: Igniting the Socialist Resistance Against Trump. We did not choose the name lightly. In doing so, we call for leftists to collectively confront Trump and Trumpism at every possible opportunity. When a Trump administration attempts mass deportations of undocumented workers, when it attempts to register Muslims or roll back worker protections, when it attempts to take away reproductive, LGTBQ, civil, or any other rights, then we must militantly resist to prevent such measures.

To succeed, this must be explicitly socialist resistance. With liberalism having repeatedly shown itself incapable of combating the far right, it is now the time for socialists to openly declare our place in building the mass, multi-racial, and working class movement necessary for defeating the Trump administration. In this struggle, millennials will play an outsized role. That is why this conference comes at such a critical time—together we must create spaces for democratic and strategic discussion, spaces to gain organizing skills, and most importantly, spaces to form networks of young radicals for the future struggles ahead. These spaces will only come together if socialists come together. Join us this Presidents Weekend and help ignite the movement to defeat the Trump administration, continue the political revolution, and build the socialist alternative.

Key Deadlines

  • January 8th: Travel Scholarship for Air Travel (for application see below)
  • January 15th: Travel Scholarship for Non-Air Travel (ex: bus, car, train, etc.)
  • February 3rd: Early Bird Registration Ends - Tickets prices go up from $5 to $10
  • February 10th: Free Housing - We have limited free housing. You need to first register, then you will be sent an application for free housing.

Apply for a travel scholarship here! (First Deadline January 8, 2017)

Check out the working program (subject to change)