March for Universal Health Care - 19 November 2011

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March for Universal Health Care


  • Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011
  • Time: 12:00 rally; 1:00 march
  • Location: Waterfront Park - the fountain @ Naito and Salmon
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Rally and March to Take Wall Street Out of Health Care

More than 50 million Americans (1 in 6) do not have health insurance and almost as many are underinsured. Despite spending much more private and public money on health care than any other people in the world, the majority of people in the US are either uninsured or underinsured, without sufficient insurance to meet a medical emergency. We are the only country in the world in which medical bills are the reason for the majority of bankruptcies.

Occupy Portland, along with many other organizations and other Occupy groups, will join in the "Universal Single Payer Healthcare March." The rally will meet at noon at Naito and SW Salmon, march past the Saturday Market and Pioneer Square, and end by placing 558 crosses in Waterfront Park in memory of the estimated 558 people who die in Oregon every year because of lack of health care.

With our signs lifted and messages shouted from the many Occupy groups plus thousands of people of different ages and backgrounds from civic groups, unions, grassroots organizations, and many more. We will be pushing for universal health care. JOIN US IN THIS FIGHT!!

New Facebook group: Single Payer Healthcare PDX

Facebook event RSVP--invite your friends!

Oregon Single Payer Coalition

Other details
Universal access to a single system of health care is not a new struggle but has definitely been a long one! Such a national system would include allowing patients to choose their hospitals and doctors, taking these decisions back from insurance companies.

American health insurance is a mess with deductibles that are so high for a number of people that they make health insurance unaffordable, particularly when it comes to regular checkups and preventative treatment. Both of which would greatly minimize emergency room visits for those without healthcare, as well as reduce the crowding and long waits there.

Critics say a move toward a government-backed national health program is a move closer to socialized medicine, similar to what many European countries have. We say Americans should all care about those who don't have health care, or those who don't have enough. Health care reform is a complicated, massive undertaking that has a lot of people offering different ideas on what will work, and what won't. But everyone can agree that some action is needed. It's something so basic, and we should all have it - but we don't.

The Portland Jobs with Justice Health Care Committee are also working to organize a deeper statewide network & movement, with an expanded coalition to be launched in January, and a tour in December of some folks from the Vermont Workers' Center. The VWC people will be doing events about how grassroots organizing around "health care is a human right" contributed to Vermont creating the first law with a clear path to a state-level universal publicly funded single payer health care system. (It is truly universal, including everyone living in the state regardless of citizenship).

It's always a fight when you're fighting for something that is right - especially for young people, older people, and people still in the work force as well as the many unemployed workers that are unable to find work in today's economy.

On the right there are congressional Republicans, allied with and supported by the pharmaceutical and health insurance companies, as well as numerous other health-related agencies, which are bound and determined to defeat any attempt to bring universal health care to America.

There are more than 50 million Americans without health insurance, and this number may have increased dramatically with recent massive layoffs.

"Know also that among 36 nations that provide health care for all their citizens, there are similar layoffs, but losing your job in those countries does not affect your health coverage. Despite the fact that we spend twice as much as these other countries for our health care, we get significantly less for the money. It’s time for America to move to universal health care. It’s the sensible thing to do." Quote from 2009 article regarding this same issue.

2009 Universal Health Care March Back to DC Medicare For All Activist and Documentary Filmmaker, Sheila Dvorak, tells her story of joining a movement and fighting for the rights of every American. What began as a one woman protest in D.C., September 2009, will culminate in a 3000 mile March on Washington, in July 2010. Uploaded on Martin Luther King Day, let his spirit inspire you to join the Universal Health Care March today!

Members of Jobs with Justice, Mad as Hell Doctors, Nurses for Single Payer Health Care, Students for National Health Care, HealthCare Now, the Oregon Single Payer Coalition and Physicians for a National Health Program will join Occupy protestors Saturday.

All of them are familiar with the needless deaths and human suffering caused by our for-profit health care system, and all point to a Single Payer health care system as the one one route that will guarantee good and affordable health care for everyone.

more information