March 10, 2009
Johnathon Ross, M.D., PNHP
Bob Sisler, LMSW, chairman of Local 6000 UAW Retirees S.E. chapter
Mark Almberg, PNHP, (312) 782-6006, firstname.lastname@example.org
Press conference and rally to express support for single-payer health reform and to protest the “marginalization of majority opinion” at Thursday’s White House Forum on Health Care Reform at the Ford Conference Center in Dearborn, Mich., at 1 p.m. EDT, and at other presidential health forums.
Spokespersons for Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and other advocates of single-payer national health insurance, sometimes called an improved Medicare for All, will decry the outsized role of the private health insurance industry, Big Pharma, and other representatives of corporate medicine at the White House-sponsored forum, one of five that are being across the country. Rally organizers charge the guest list is heavily laden with for-profit interests who care more about safeguarding their profits than delivering health care.
While acknowledging that a very small number of single-payer supporters have been invited to the forum, physicians wearing their white coats and other health reform advocates will assert that national health insurance is being accorded a minor, marginalized role at the forum, even though surveys show two-thirds of Americans and 59 percent of U.S. physicians support it. They will also present forum conveners with letters signed by members of Detroit-area churches in support of H.R. 676, the U.S. National Health Care Act, a single-payer bill sponsored by Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.).
Rally participants will demand that the single-payer model be “on the table” as a full-fledged option and given pride of place, given its proven effectiveness in providing universal, comprehensive care; its ability to contain costs; and the fact that its annual savings in administrative costs — $400 billion — will mean that it will require no increase in health spending.
Johnathon Ross, M.D., an internist at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center, a 500-bed teaching hospital in Toledo, Ohio, who has many patients in Michigan. He is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of Toledo, and a past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, a national organization of 15,000 doctors who support single-payer national health insurance.
James Mitchiner, M.D., emergency physician and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor and immediate past president Washtenaw County Medical Society.
Representatives of labor and faith communities.
1 p.m. EDT, Thurs., March 12
Ford Conference Center, 1151 Village Rd., Dearborn, Mich., immediately outside main entrance.