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Nineteen Arrested in NYC as Campaign for Single Payer Begins.

by Mobilization for Health Care! Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Tuesday 29 September 2009 10:55 EST Nationwide Sit-in campaign underway. "Patients, not Profit, Medicare for All!" At the sit-in at Aetna, 19 citizens and health care providers were arrested for single payer health care. More actions coming throughout the nation.

Nineteen Arrested in...
aetnasitin.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Nineteen people were arrested this morning at 99 Park Ave in New York City for entering the lobby of the health insurance company Aetna and demanding that Aetna stop denying healthcare approved by doctors. This was the beginning of a campaign in which over 300 people have committed to nonviolently risking arrest. On September 29th in New York City, October 8th in Chicago, and in cities across the country on October 15th, over 100 people who have signed this pledge will put our bodies on the line to challenge the real death panels. Today you can help by letting Aetna know what you think at (212) 457-0700 or (888) 203-1103 Toll Free.


“Why I’m putting myself on the line"

Retired nurse Constancia ‘Dinky’ Romily, 68, explains why she is risking arrest to end insurance abuse and win health care for all

Constancia ‘Dinky’ Romily, 68, is a retired nurse and a resident of East Village, New York. She is fed up, she says, with the sorry state that our health care system is in today. That’s why she is participating in nonviolent civil disobedience on Tuesday, 10 AM, at the Aetna health insurance office in New York city (99 Park Ave @ 40th), with 15 or so others. The action on Tuesday is the first action in part of a larger effort, the Mobilization for Health Care for All, an effort to build support for real reform – Medicare for All, a single payer plan. The mobilization involves civil disobedience at insurance company offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, and other cities through October.

“Insurance companies are denying care to people who need it right and left, but that’s not how it should work. Health care is a right, not a privilege,” said Romily. “I’m willing to risk arrest to end insurance abuse and win health care for all.”

Romily was a nurse for over 30 years, working in hospitals in Detroit and Atlanta before settling in at Belleview Hospital in New York. Before her retirement, Romily was often the one on the phone with insurance company reviewers, pleading with them to provide coverage for the care that the doctor recommended.

In her 30 years as a nurse, Romily has seen the worst of insurance company denials. She describes one woman, about 30 years old, who had been a victim of a violent crime, taking a bullet in her spine. This made her paraplegic. The woman, says Romily, had “terrible spasms,” so the doctor recommended the implant of a pump device that would deliver anti-spasmodic medication directly to her spine, greatly reducing the severity and duration of the spasms.

The doctor-recommended implant was initially denied by the insurance company. The hospital staff pleaded with the insurance company for six months, but the care was never approved. “Eventually,” says Romily, “she died much sooner and in much more misery then she would have if she had gotten the device implanted. These insurance companies are the real death panels.”

“Hundreds of people die each day because insurance companies deny them lifesaving care that they need. I’ve seen them in the hospitals I worked in for 30 years,” said Romily. “I’m willing to put myself on the line for them. We need Medicare for All, the real public option.”

The sit-in is part of the Patients Not Profit campaign of the Mobilization for Health Care for All. The mobilization was launched by the organizations Prosperity Agenda, Health Care NOW!, and the Center for the Working Poor.

“We are the only industrialized democracy that doesn’t provide universal health care,” says Romily. “Medicare for All, a single-payer plan, would eliminate the waste of the for-profit system which would save enough money to extend comprehensive coverage to everyone.”

# # #

For more information:

Mobilization for Health Care

Health Care NOW!,

Prosperity Agenda, http://www.ProsperityAgenda,US

Center for Working Poor,


Follow us on Twitter @mob4healthcare

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