Activists Demand Rangel and Gillibrand Sign Support Single-Payer
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- Published: Monday, 10 August 2009 15:15
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On Tuesday August 11th Activists from ACT UP/NY and the Private Health Insurance Must Go Coalition Gathered outside of Representative Charles Rangel's Birthday Gala in Tavern on the Green in Central Park to protest the exclusion of Single Payer Healthcare from the national Debate. Rangel is the Chair of the Powerful Ways and Means Committee and has done nothing to promote Single-Payer Bill HR676, the expanded and improved Medicare for All Act which would create a Single-Payer System in the US. This act would prohibit the private health insurance industry from competing with the national program and would cover not only basic and emergency care, but also drugs, mental health, dental, vision and long-term care. According to ACT UP member John Riley, "This bill if it passed congress and was signed into law, would effectively control medical costs, have a mechanism to eliminate pharmaceutical price gouging, and make treatment available to people with HIV and AIDS for the rest of their lives because it would cover all Americans. It would also mean the end of co-payments, denial of service for medically necessary procedures and treatments and extend many people's lives. It would also end the system where people feel they must remain on disability or risk their health."
As luminaries ranging from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and City Council Speaker Quinn paid their respects to Harlem US Representative Charles Rangel on his birthday, protesters from Disabled In Action, the militant disabled rights group, and the Private Health Insurance Must Go Coalition protested outside. The activists are demanding Rangel make good on his earlier promise of support for the single-payer style Expanded and Improved Medicare Act that goes by the house number HR676. Activists from Disabled in Action/NY point out that the Obama healthcare plan doesn't cover long-term care. As it stands now, to recieve long term care people eventually are forced to become impoverished so they can get both Medicare and Medicaid.
ACT UP urges people concerned about healthcare as a right to come to ACT UP's meeting , Monday August 31st, at 8pm at the LGBT Center at 208 W. 13th St. to organize actions to send a message to the NY congressional caucus members the message we need real healthcare reform with Single-Payer, not a bonanza for the private health insurance companies.