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  October 22, 2012

Advocates of Universal Healthcare Protest Obama and Romney


New York Doctors protest lack of single-payer activists in presidential debates
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transcript

Advocates of Universal Healthcare Protest Obama and RomneyJAISAL NOOR: ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, DOZENS OF PHYSICIANS, MEDICAL STUDENTS, NURSES, AND AIDS ACTIVISTS PROTESTED OUTSIDE EXCLUSIVE RITZ CARLTON HOTEL, WHERE BOTH MAJOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES APPEARED TOGETHER AT A CHARITY EVENT.

MICHAEL TIKILI, CALLED FOR BOTH OBAMA AND ROMNEY TO SUPPORT THE SO-CALLED ROBIN HOOD TAX

Michael Tikili (ACT-UP)

"If we put a small, tiny tax on speculative trading that Wall Street does all the time, every day, we would be able to generate billions of dollars, and that money can go to ending the AIDS crisis, it can go to fixing our failing health care system, it can go to creating a lot of jobs, and also take care of climate problems.

ALSO TAKING PART WERE ACTIVISTS WITH PHYSICIANS FOR A NATIONAL HEALTH PROGRAM AND MEDICAL STUDENTS LIKE LUSHA LIANG.

Lusha Liang (First-year medical student)

"I'm here today because I think it's absolutely ridiculous that we are the only developed country in the world that spends so much on health care but does not have a universal health care system, that we have 49 million people uninsured right now, and that if we get rid of Medicare there will be another 49 million people uninsured. And I think that's ridiculous and unacceptable. "u

MATT ANDERSON SAID THE COUNTRY'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM IS MARKED WITH INEQUALITY.

Matt Anderson (Physicians For a National Health Program)

SOT

"By almost every measure, the Bronx is the sickest county in New York State, and it's also the county with the least number of primary-care doctors, which means that folks like me are extremely busy trying to meet the need for primary care."

PEDIATRICIAN STEVE AUERBACH SAYS AMERICA NEEDS SOMETHING NEITHER OBAMA OR ROMNEY SUPPORT—A SYSTEM THAT PROVIDES UNIVERSAL COVERAGE.

Steve Auerbach (Physicians For a National Health Program)

"What we need to do with health care is what is called “single-payer”, sometimes “Medicare for all”. I like to refer to it as the all-American insurance plan—everybody in, nobody out. Economists have analyzed it, perfectly mainstream economists. The Lewin group, which is actually owned by a for-profit health insurance company, keeps saying it. All the Obamacare supporters, Commonwealth, and Kaiser have analyzed it. GAO, CBO. There's nothing actually radical about it. It's simply paying in through, hopefully, more progressive taxation. Single insurance pool automatically covers everybody. Cut the middleman out—no private insurance. Everybody is automatically covered. Doctors can get on with doing health care. Everybody is automatically covered. You can't get off coverage depending on your insurance status.

MANY ADVOCATES LIKE AUERBACH ARE ALSO CRITICAL OF HOW THE MEDIA HAS PORTRAYED THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN OBAMA AND ROMNEY'S HEALTH CARE POLICIES.

CRITICS HAVE NOTED THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, DURING COVERAGE OF THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN, MANY MAINSTREAM JOURNALISTS HAVE WORKED UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE ARE FLAWED AND ARE GOING BANKRUPT.

Steve Auerbach (Physicians For a National Health Program)

"That's the same folks who have been wrong about everything up till now. You know, it's the same folks that said, deregulate Wall Street, it's the same folks that said lower the taxes on the rich, are now saying that, and it's simply not true. So, first of all, we need to separate a few things. Social Security is not going bankrupt, period. Medicare is having increasing expenses because it's serving the elderly and the sick while the healthy and the wealthy go into the private insurance pools."

WHILE BOTH THE ROMNEY AND OBAMA CAMPAIGNS HAVE RECENTLY RUN ADS ATTACKING THE OTHERS FOR PLANNING ON CUTTING THESE ENTITLEMENTS, AUERBACH SAYS IN REALITY THESE CUTS ARE LIKELY NO MATTER WHO WINS THE ELECTION.

Steve Auerbach (Physicians For a National Health Program)

"After the election, regardless of the outcome, the so-called fiscal cliff which is completely ginned up is going to be used as an excuse by Republicans and Democrats to cut a compromise that's going to result in potentially cutting Social Security, cutting Medicare, cutting Medicaid, voucherizing and privatizing. It's a mistake. It's the wrong way to go. "

MANY AT THE PROTEST SAID THEY WOULD SUPPORT OBAMA TO PREVENT A ROMNEY VICTORY. BUT ANOTHER MEDICAL DOCTOR WHO WAS NOT PRESENT AT THE PROTEST BUT IS ALSO HARSHLY CRITICAL OF THE HEALTH-CARE POLICIES OF THE OBAMA AND ROMNEY CAMPAIGN IS GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DR. JILL STEIN. STEIN, WHO WAS ARRESTED AND DETAINED FOR EIGHT HOURS FOR ATTEMPTING TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LAST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE THAT TOOK PLACE AT HOFSTRA UNIVERSITY, SAYS THE CORE PROBLEMS WITH HEALTH CARE WILL NOT BE ADDRESSED UNLESS A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE IS ELECTED.

Jill Stein (Green Party Presidential Candidate)

"There's no excuse for cutting Medicare and Social Security. These are programs that are essential. Social Security keeps 20 million elders out of poverty. And to start whittling away at Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, which President Obama has been talking about, or to be raising the eligibility age of Medicare would be devastating. To raise the eligibility age for Medicare would leave people uncovered in their retirement years, in their 60s, for much of that decade. So this is absolutely unacceptable and also completely unnecessary, and reflects the priorities of both Obama and Romney, and that priority is to serve their corporate sponsors in the pharmaceutical and insurance companies."

HEALTH CARE ADVOCATES SAY THEY WILL CONTINUE THEIR DEMANDS THAT ALL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES SUPPORT A SINGLE-PAYER, UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE SYSTEM. REPORTING FOR THE REAL NEWS, THIS IS JAISAL NOOR IN NEW YORK.



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