The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has focused a national spotlight on corporate greed and the outrageous wealth of the 1 percent in the United States.
The Chicago Single-Payer Action Network (CHISPAN) is in solidarity with OWS. For decades, those of us who believe health care is a human right, not a commodity, have fought the greedy insurance and pharmaceutical industries. These corporations consistently put profits over patient’s health care needs. Have a look at these eye-popping CEO salaries:
John Hammergren, McKesson – $145M
Ronald Williams, Aetna – $57M
H. Edward Hanway, CIGNA – 28.8 M
Bill Weldon, Johnson & Johnson – $28.7M
Daniel Vasella, Novartis – $27M
Miles White, Abbott – $25.6 M
Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer $24.7M
The insurance giants UnitedHealth, WellPoint, Aetna, CIGNA, and Humana are getting rich in the throes of a deep, economic depression for the 99 percent of us. The combined earnings of those five companies were more than $11.7 billion in 2010, which was 17 percent more than they made in 2009. Since the end of 2008, their earnings have increased 51 percent. The 1 percent of Wall Street shareholders are laughing all the way to the bank, while over 50 million people are uninsured and millions more are underinsured. These businesses make profits by charging exorbitant amounts for coverage, denying health care, and overcharging for medication. They don’t care that people suffer or die. A study by the Commonwealth Fund shows that 84,000 people in America die every year because they lack access to health care. In the richest country in the world, that is a crime!
In 2011, the Occupy movement brought protest in to the streets, on to bridges, ports, and parks. Single payer activists have been a part of these protests.
Single-payer activists are no strangers to struggle. The year 2009 saw single payer activists all across the country stage a series of sit-ins at insurance company buildings. In Chicago, members of CHISPAN sat-in at the corporate headquarters of CIGNA. Seven were arrested. Check out the video of the “CIGNA 7.”
As long as health care resources are in the control of profit hungry insurance CEOs and stockholders, the medical misery of millions of people will continue.
We want to abolish the private insurance industry once and for all. We are committed to building a movement for health care justice and working with the Occupy movement and raising the demand for a health care system where profit has no place. Join us.
EVERYBODY IN NOBODY OUT!
HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT!
PATIENTS OVER PROFITS!