Monday, March 4, 2019

#PharmaGreedKills, a Rally to Confront Drug Industry Greed and Political Influence #PassNYHealthAct #MedicareForAll #singlepayer

Healthcare  activists decry profit driven medicine.

My  friend Brandon invited me to #PharmaGreedKills, a

Rally to Confront Drug Industry Greed and Political Influence.

“Join people with HIV, patients, nurses, doctors, medical students, and consumers to call-out drug company greed, price-gouging, and profiteering that’s blocking our access to necessary meds. Challenge moves by corporate giants to stop guaranteed health care for all (single payer) from moving forward in Congress and the New York State Legislature.

Where & When:
11:00 AM - 12 Noon - Picket in front of Pfizer HQ, 235 E. 42nd St., NW corner of 2nd Ave., Manhattan
12:00 - 12:30 PM - March on sidewalk to 42nd & 5th Ave.
12:30 - 1:00 PM - Picket along 5th Ave. between 40th & 42nd St. (near Public Library).”

“Everybody in, nobody out!!!” activists screamed, joined by a coalition from
Physicians for a National Health Program,
New York Metro Uptown Progressive Action
Metro New York Health Care for All
Healthcare Equity Action League of New York
Democratic Socialists of America
Rise and Resist.

Many of my friends from ACT UP were  there. 
Ken  was  there with a sign that  declared: “Pills cost pennies, greed costs lives”
 talking  about his struggles with a bout of pneumonia and the providers who helped  him through  it. 

Activists from all over the  city were there. 
Marina Tsaplina, who  I  met in Occupy was speaking about increasing costs for insulin.   
We need a public imagination, she declared, something which can see beyond profit margins, toward big solutions, insurance for  all.

Katie Robbins suggested a few of us might be dealing Private Insurance Stress Disorder.
“You might have it,” she commented, asking
What’s the value of human life.

“Single payer now,” we chanted.
“Fight fight fight,  healthcare is  a human  right!”

Amanda Lugg stood to speak, calling for healthcare for all, her  cadence reminding me of a rainy  day  18 years ago during the First UN  General Assembly on  AIDS.
She talked about her clients, most of whom are  immigrants.
And the  words on the statue of liberty: “Give us  your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore..”
The words are not,  give us your rich,  your affluent.
Healthcare  helps us all be free.
Its  something we all  benefit from,  something as  American as  the statue of liberty.

Our location  at  the library  was not  lost on  activists.
Health insurance  is the same kind of public good.
It should be  as easy  as borrowing  a  book.

But the opponents are many.
Its  either now we are going to wait for another  generation.  

“Why #BigPharma’s time is up!

• The drug industry is among the most profitable in the world, far more so than most Fortune 500 sectors.

• Drug companies charge prices far higher in the U.S. than anywhere else in the world, even though they make good profits on their products everywhere.

• At the start of 2019, drug companies raised their prices by 6.3% on average. Pfizer alone raise the prices of more than 40 drugs.
• Drug companies rip-off patients in the U.S. because they can, because our government refuses to stop their profiteering and price gouging. The industry buys our government through huge election campaign donations, and hires legions of lobbyists to shape and block legislation. The industry deploys 3 lobbyists for every one member of Congress.
• #BigPharma has joined forces with their allies in #BigInsurance and #BigMedicine to oppose moves toward a single-payer universal health care program so that they all can maintain their joint dominance over our healthcare system to protect and increase their profits.
• Meanwhile, many patients go without or limit the medicines they need because they can’t afford them, and people suffer with continued illness and some even die.”

No comments:

Post a Comment