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Nurses, Doctors, Patients to Protest Health Insurers on National Day of Action - June 19th
Date:6/19/2008

Thousands in San Francisco and Around Country Will Demand Guaranteed

Healthcare Now

New Event Added - Mayor Newsom to Sign HR 676 Resolution - 10 a.m.

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Marching with pictures of patients who have been denied care by the health insurance industry, thousands of Americans will turnout in the streets of San Francisco and a dozen other cities this Thursday, June 19 at 12 Noon to ask, "What's a life worth?" and to advocate for guaranteed, single-payer healthcare, the "Medicare for All" systems proposed in U.S. Rep. John Conyers' Congressional bill HR 676 and State Sen. Sheila Kuehl's SB 840 in California. Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco will kick off the day with a signing ceremony at his office at 10 a.m. that officially declares San Francisco an endorser of HR 676.

This national day of action comes in response to the annual convention of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the insurance industry lobbying group dedicated to blocking healthcare reform.

WHAT: Thousands protest insurance companies in San Francisco, nationwide

WHEN: Thursday, June 19th, 12 Noon to 1 p.m.

WHERE: San Francisco, Calif. -- 4th St. @ Howard St.

WHAT: Mayor Gavin Newsom Ceremony: San Francisco Endorses HR 676

WHEN: Thursday, June 19th, 10 a.m.

WHERE: Mayor's Office, Room 200, City Hall, San Francisco

Families of those who have lost loved ones to these health insurers will gather outside the convention to demand solutions and answers. They will be led by Hilda Sarkisyan, mother of 17-year-old Nataline, who died when CIGNA delayed her liver transplant last December, and by the family of Nicky Colombo, another 17-year-old whose life was saved only after a coalition of RNs and bloggers pressured PacifiCare to overturn its denial. Their stories will be remembered at a memorial wall, and in the patient story archive online at http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/your_story, an online testament to the abuse and pain caused by America's broken health system and merciless health insurers.

The patients will be joined by hundreds of nurses, school employees, seniors, healthcare activists, as well as Los Angeles' crusading City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, who has sued insurers for illegal denials of care, and by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, the author of SB 840, the groundbreaking bill to bring guaranteed healthcare to California.

Malinda Markowitz, RN, a co-President of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee said, "We march for those who can't -- for those who have been denied care by the insurance companies, or bankrupted by their practices. The American people are ready for guaranteed healthcare through an improved 'Medicare for all,' and it is time to pass Rep. John Conyers' HR 676 on the federal level and State Senator Sheila Kuehl's SB 840 in California in order to finally end our healthcare crisis."

"My daughter survived two bouts of cancer, against all odds only to be told that she couldn't get the only treatment that could have saved her life because some administrator in some insurance office thought it is was too expensive," says Hilda Sarkisyan. "Families should not have to hold massive protests to force insurance companies to do the right thing. We need the kind of healthcare reform where a doctor's recommendation for life-saving treatment takes precedent over cost-savings and profit."

Delgadillo also appeared Wednesday, as the convention opened, to discuss his legal efforts to crack down on the unlawful and fraudulent business practices of the insurance industry and to unveil a new television ad targeting insurance denial of care. The ad was produced by the Courage Campaign and funded by the California Nurses Association and Sen. Kuehl. Titled "Insurance Jive," it will begin airing Thursday in Los Angeles and San Francisco. It can also be viewed on the CNA/NNOC website, http://www.calnurses.org.

The protests, the largest related to healthcare in many years, will be extensively covered at the new Guaranteed Healthcare Blog, http://www.GuaranteedHealthcare.org/blog, a project of the Leadership Conference on Guaranteed Healthcare. The Leadership Conference on Guaranteed Healthcare is dedicated to bringing America the benefits of a "Medicare for all," or single-payer healthcare system. These systems, common to most industrialized democracies, replace private insurance corporations, with universal, nonprofit health coverage that allows patients to choose from competing doctors and hospitals.

In addition to the major protest with more than 2,000 participants outside the AHIP conference in San Francisco, additional actions occurred today outside of the offices of health insurance companies, including United Healthcare, CIGNA, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Humana, in San Antonio, Louisville, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, St. Louis, and elsewhere. (Click here to see a more detailed list.)

http://www.calnurses.org/assets/pdf/healthcare/june_19_flyer.pdf

The Leadership Conference on Guaranteed Healthcare is composed of California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC), Physicians for a National Health Program, Healthcare Now!, and Progressive Democrats of America, working in coalition with the California School Employees Association, the American Medical Students Association, the California Universal Healthcare Organizing Project, the Courage Campaign, United Educators San Francisco, California Alliance of Retired Americans, American Patients United, and Senior Action Network.


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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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