Dozens to Criticize Rangel's Connections to Private Health Insurance Industry, Call on Him to Take A Stand Against For-Profit Health Insurers
WHO: The Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition, which is made up of several health care rights, labor, and political activist organizations.
WHAT: Photo Opportunity and Press Conference: Coinciding with the fifth and final, highly staged White House Forum on Health Reform in Los Angeles, protestors in New York clad in hospital gowns and exposed backsides will demonstrate the insufficiencies of the private health insurance corporations. In further street theater, protestors will jump through hoops symbolizing the wasteful complexities of our current health care system. Representatives of the coalition will attempt to deliver a letter of demands to Congressman Rangel's office.
Additionally, constituents of Charles Rangel will give personal testimonies of problems with private health insurance. Representatives of the coalition will detail Rangel's significant contributions from the private health insurance industry and explain the need for a national system of guaranteed health care.
WHEN: Monday, April 6- 12:00pm Press Conference followed immediately by Photo Op and Protest
WHERE: Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building Plaza - 163 W. 125th St. (corner of 7th Av)
WHY: Single-payer health insurance is the only plan that can contain health care spending and provide high quality universal coverage. Yet in the current health care reform debate, private health insurance lobbyists have blocked efforts to achieve a national public system of coverage, and our elected leaders have not showed the courage to confront them. As chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Charles Rangel is in a powerful position to take on the private health insurers and promote a national system of health care coverage. The PHIMG Coalition is troubled by the fact that he receives significant campaign contributions from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Currently there is legislation, H.R. 676, before his committee that would phase out the private health insurers, yet Rangel is not holding hearings on it nor co-sponsoring it as he has done in the past. Protestors are demanding that Rangel hold committee hearings and take other steps to advance H.R. 676 while also publicly refusing to accept any more private health insurance and drug company contributions.
These issues are pressing and worsening with the economic downturn. Nearly 50 million Americans lack health care coverage and millions more have insufficient coverage from their private insurance. Compared to other industrialized nations, Americans pay drastically more for health care yet receive worse health outcomes. The profiteering business model of private health insurance corporations adds wasteful costs and harmful limitations on consumer choice and medical practice. A publicly-funded national system of health care coverage that eliminates private health insurers is more fiscally responsible and guarantees the right of health care for all.
Private Health Insurance Must Go! Coalition
731 West 183 Street, Suite 1L
New York, NY 10033
Targets Gay & Bi Men Under 30
June 29, 2008
This year ACT UP/NY focused their LGBT Pride message on getting the word out about their new print and web harm reduction campaign. Infection rates in NYC are up by 33% since 2001 among young gay and bisexual men under 30 years of age. ACT UP claims prevention efforts are hampered by years of abstinence only teaching, which has affected even AIDS organization's educational materials they describe as "often timid". ACT UP published in Gay City News a full page ad showing an inviting young man starting to dress himself by opening a condom, with the following text:
"Infection Rates are UP! The only thing you need to wear are condoms!"
The CDC's recently released statistics for 2005 show that, men who have sex with men accounted for 71% of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses among men. ACT UP is attempting to create "an edgy, gay-sex-positive, safe-sex promotional campaign in response to this alarming rise in new infections among young gay and bisexual men under 30". ACT UP distributed 4000 condoms to enthusiastic march goers and is looking for help creating materials for its multimedia campaign as well as coalition partners. While the epidemic faces a number of sectors of the communities that comprise New York City, because of limited resources, we have to focus our efforts. Join us to help create a larger campaign. Call 917-653-7267 for details.
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