This coming Thursday morning hundreds of citizens of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth will descend upon the Capitol Building in Harrisburg, Pa. to make our voices heard. An impressive group of speakers and representatives of mainstream organizations representing millions of Pennsylvanians will raise their collective voices in the Capitol Rotunda to demonstrate to our elected representatives that the single-payer movement has gone mainstream. We will not be dismissed as a rag-tag band of Utopians. We are the majority, and they ignore us at their peril. Please join us.
I want to make it clear that the speakers at, and co-sponsors of this rally do not share identical views about how to approach the repair of our dysfunctional healthcare system that has now risen to true crisis proportion. On the national level some favor the single-payer bills of Congressman John Conyers (HR 676) or Senator Bernie Sanders (S703). Others favor the Public Option and are allied with the HCAN Coalition. In Pennsylvania, however, we have an opportunity to lead the way. By passing HB 1660 and SB 400 (both bills are soon to be reintroduced in the current sessions of both Houses) we can become the first state in the nation to enact single-payer, universal, comprehensive healthcare for all legal residents of the Commonwealth. Everybody in. Nobody Out. We will all be bearing a common message on Thursday: PASS THIS LEGISLATION!
You don’t believe this is a mainstream movement? Our speakers will include Bill George, President of the Pa. AFL-CIO; David Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13, the largest union local in Pennsylvania representing 65,000 workers; Donna Smith, star of Micheal Moore’s “SiCKO,” and now a political organizer for the California Nurses Association; Walter Tsou, nationally known healthcare consultant and former Philadelphia Health Commissioner; Former Senate Candidate Chuck Pennacchio; as well as representatives from the Pa. Council of Churches; the Pa. League of Women Voters and others.
Organizations that have endorsed the rally include:
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA)
California Nurses Association
Healthcare for ALLPA.org
Healthcare for ALL Philadelphia (HCAP)
Healthcare Not Warfare Campaign (Progressive Democrats of America)
National Union of Hospital and Health Employees/District 1199C (Philadelphia), AFSCME, AFL-CIO; Pa. AFL-CIO
Pa. League of Women Voters
Ni-Ta-Nee NOW, Centre County
Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP)
Pa. National Organization of Women (NOW)
Pennsylvanians United for Singlepayer Healthcare (PUSH)