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Green Party LogoGreens urge widespread protest over President Obama's exclusion of Single-Payer/Medicare For All advocates from the March 5 health care reform summit at the White House

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Contacts:
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614, mclarty@greens.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Two protests scheduled: (1) in front of the White House on Thursday, March 5, organized by Physicians for a National Health Program and other single-payer groups; (2) "Burn Your Health Insurance Bill Day" outside of a health insurance lobby meeting in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, March 11

"The First 100 Days: What Would a Green Administration Look Like?" (video and text) http://www.gp.org/first100


WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders said today that Americans should be furious over President Obama's barring of advocates for single-payer (also called Medicare For All) from his March 5 health care summit.

Greens urged widespread protest, including rallies and phone calls to the White House and to Congress members, over the exclusion. Polls have demonstrated consistent popular support for a national health care program that guarantees universal coverage (http://www.wpasinglepayer.org/PollResults.html).

The 120 guests invited to the White House meeting include lobbyists for the for-profit insurance industry, as well as members of Congress, including Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, who has declared the single-payer “off the table.” The Center for Responsive Politics has documented the campaign money that the insurance industry has given to Democrats and Republicans for their leverage over health care and other policies (http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=F09), with a total of $46,002,881 in insurance lobby contributions in 2008.

Green Party leaders encourraged support for and attendance at two protest actions in Washington, DC over President Obama's exclusion of single-payer voices from the summit:

Physicians for a National Health Program (http://www.pnhp.org) and other members of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care and the National Single Payer Alliance, will demonstrate on Thursday, March 5 from noon to 1:00 pm at Lafayette Square in front of the White House. Health care providers are encouraged to bring their white coats. More information: Danielle Alexander, 202-662-0614, danielle@pnhp.org

Single-payer supporters will hold a "Burn Your Health Insurance Bill Day" demonstration (http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/03/03) on Wednesday, March 11, 10 am in front of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in downtown Washington, DC. The address is 1150 22nd Street, NW, near the Dupont Circle and GWU/Foggy Bottom Metro stations. Inside the Ritz-Carlton, America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the main Washington lobbying group for health insurance corporations, will meet to discuss plans to derail single-payer (http://www.ahip.org/links/policy2009/).

"President Obama, along with most Democrats and Republicans in Congress, has chosen the demands of the for-profit health insurance industry over America's need for universal health care. The Green Party supports the single-payer national health plan, which covers all Americans and would rescue those who now face financial ruin because they lack insurance or have inadequate coverage," said David Doonan, Village Mayor of Greenwich, New York and a member of the Green Party.

"Single-payer will cut national health care costs by as much as a third, significantly reduce what working Americans pay for health coverage, and provide everyone with guaranteed quality care regardless of ability to pay, income, age, or prior medical condition. Furthermore, single-payer will give everyone full choice of health care provider and drastically cut the paperwork that plagues physicians and other health professionals," added Jody Grage, treasurer of the Green Party of the United States.

Greens note that enactment of a Single-Payer program would boost the ailing US economy and provide relief for businesses large and small, since it would cancel the high expense and administrative burden of employer-based health care benefits (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=158). Rep. John Conyers' (D-Mich.) bill for Single-Payer (HR 676, http://thomas.loc.gov/home/gpoxmlc110/h676_ih.xml) has strong Green Party support.

Read "An International Perspective on Health Care Reform" by Connecticut Green Party member John R. Battista, MD (http://www.gp.org/first100/?p=119), published on the Green Party's web site as part of "The First 100 Days: What Would a Green Administration Look Like?" (http://www.gp.org/first100)

For a comparison of mandate plans and Single-Payer , see "Talking Points: Why the mandate plans won't work, and why Single-Payer 'Medicare for All' is what we need" by Len Rodberg, PhD, published by Physicians for a National Health Program (http://www.pnhp.org/news/2008/december/talking_points_why_.php).

See also:

Green Party information page on Single-Payer: http://www.gp.org/organize/sicko.html

"President Obama can either work to enact health care for all Americans or he can support insurance and HMO industry profits, say Greens"
Green Party press release, January 29, 2009
http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=174

Video clips:
2008 Green presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney speaks on Single-Player health care and racial health care disparities http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEHd4lRVUuU
More on health care: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEHd4lRVUuU
Health, the environment, and the economy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PVNTOa8owQQ


MORE INFORMATION

Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

Tally of Green election victories http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/election-results.html
Green candidate news http://www.gp.org/2008-elections/candidate-news.php
Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information: http://www.gp.org/elections.shtml
Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections

Green Pages, Vol. 13, No. 1
The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States
http://gp.org/greenpages-blog


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