Go to part 1 of Photo Essay: Heroes Fighting for Single Payer Arrested in Philly For Civil DisobedienceGo to part 2 of Photo Essay: Heroes Fighting for Single Payer Arrested in Philly For Civil Disobedience
This protester already has socialized single payer healthcare.
She's fighting for the rest of us.
Protesters cleared, management and Civil affairs unit police remain behind.
Next, the protesters are put in police vans, separated by gender. There are eight police to deal with one small white-haired non-violent protester-- what great attention.
In the van.
After the arrested were gone, I spoke to one of the employees in the photos above. She was a nice person, but she seemed to be trying to diminish the protests by saying the protesters didn't know much about the issues when she asked them questions.
"What kinds of questions?" I asked.
She replied that she'd asked them about what kinds of things raised the costs of health care and they didn't know. Apparently, they'd answered that health insurance companies raise the costs of health care. She wanted them to answer that bad diet, smoking, lack of exercise-- were causes. I accused her of trying to marginalize the meaningfulness of the protests. She denied it, said, when I asked that she was not with PR or communications, but wouldn't say what she was with.
She asked me if I knew what their profits were. I said 4-6 percent. She corrected me that they were only 2-3 percent. I asked her that included the BILLIONS in reserve funds they squirrel away in case of emergencies. I know that PA insurers have $15 billion in their reserve funds. Some might call them profits.
Other employees refused to discuss what they thought of the protests, not allowed to speak for the company or on company time. A few asked if I like to get paid for my job. First, I laughed. Then I said I earned a lot less money than I have in other jobs because I do something that HELPS humanity. I can imagine though, that they think that by being in health care, they help people too. Activists need to wake them up and make it clear that they are not working for the answer. They are part of the problem.
But they asked some fair questions. What happens to the 600,000 people who now work for health insurers? John Conyers, when I interviewed him earlier in the year told me that single payer would create two million new jobs. He also said that some of the health insurers could end up with contracts handling some of the functions required in the single payer system-- that the single payer bill, HR676 is one of five or more total bills that will be necessary to bring about universal single payer health care. It's clear that if there is an answer to those employees' questions-- "what happens to us if single payer replaces the health care industry?: the transition will be smoother and resistance will be less.
At one point, a passerby asked me what the protesters were protesting. I replied they were protesting for single-payer and public option health care.
NO!! a protester corrected me. We're here for single payer, not public option. And she was right. All the signs were for medicare for all or single payer. I'm glad they corrected me. The people who care enough to fight are not settling for the insulting fraudulent solution the democrats and Obama are offering us. It is not too late to send them stronger and stronger messages that a weak public option that goes into effect in 2013 is a gift to the insurance companies and betrayal of the American people and American industry, which is being beaten in international markets because it can't compete with companies in countries where health care is not a business expense.
There are more protests next week in this current round and surely, more will be happening soon. Will the centrist progressive groups see the light that civil disobedience is the only way that the Democrats are going to see how serious the American people are? Right wingers are trying to make the call for single payer seem like something a small majority wants, that it is socialist, communist and anti-American.
The corpstream media are failing to cover these protests. Tell them they should be covering these protests. I didn't see any of the five local TV stations covering the protests. Call them and give them hell.
The protesters pictured above are heroes-- a mix of a new generation of civil rights demonstrators and old ones--- some of the seniors were freedom riders. We who support what they are fighting for should join them, support them, applaud them, empower and enable them.
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