by Jennifer Flynn Walker
Watch Ady Barkan testify to the House Rules Committee on Medicare for All-Watch the Livestream
Today, affiliates from New Georgia Project, SPACES, Rights and Democracy VT & NH, Maryland Communities United, Birddog Nation, and allies from Rise and Resist joined several hundred activists from National Nurses United, People's Action, Our Revolution and Democratic Socialists of America to stand in front of PhRMA to demand Medicare for All.
Bonnie Castillo, the President of NNU, kicked off the rally recanting how everyday the decisions of nurses and doctors are overruled by insurance executives putting the lives of their patients at risk.
Angelique Speight, a member of SPACES, was one of the most powerful speakers asking the crowd if they "loooovvveed their Health Insurance provider. If they lovvveed Aetna, or Cigna". It blew apart the most pervasive argument against Medicare for All. MSNBC has asked to have her on the air. Fingers crossed that it works out.
Speaker after speaker clearly made the policy case for Medicare for Alll. However, by far the most powerful moment happened when Ady Barkan's speech was read by Darius Gordon as a Mic Check. Ady led us through the words, "I HATE PHRMA! I HATE PHRMA! and then, "WE ARE GOING TO WHOOP YOUR BUTT!" After hearing about the 28 mother of two who died of cancer, spending her last year in fights with her insurance company and leaving her family in poverty, it felt so fucking good to say that.
The rally ended with hundreds of Go Fund Me's for healthcare stories band-aid taped to the walls of PhRMA's headquarters.
Here's the thing. I don't usually lose campaigns. And I don't intend to lose this one. We have a once in a generation opportunity to make healthcare a right in the US.
Wednesday, May 1, Ady Barkan, who traveled thousands of miles, at a great risk to his life, testified before the House Rules Committee. This is the first hearing on Medicare for All in 40 years.
You can watch here: www.facebook.com/BeAHeroTeam/
OR here: rules.house.gov
Special thanks to Darius Gordon, Julia Peter and Tracey Corder who made today's action fire. PhRMA was terrified.
If you would like to join the Medicare for All Strategy Team at CPD, we meet every first Thursday of the month at 1pm. https://zoom.us/j/4900930821 OR +1 408 638 0968; 4900930821#. The next one is this Thursday, May 2nd.