HCAN! New York

Scene of a Crime in Buffalo

Posted on October 12th, 2009 by Charlie Albanetti

by Diana Cihak, Western New York Organizer, Citizen Action of New York


On Friday, activists gathered in downtown Buffalo to call out the private health insurance industry and their practices of denying coverage in order to increase profits. This action was one of three events across New York this week that focused on the “crimes” of big insurance. Other events also happened in Binghamton and Albany.

Using yellow crime scene tape that read “It’s a Crime to Deny our Care” and holding it around chalk outlines of bodies strewn across the sidewalk, the activists sent a clear message to those walking by on their lunch break.

IMG00015Other volunteers circulated through the crowd gathering signatures on a petition to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking her to stay strong on a public option and true affordability for families with the House bill, H.R. 3200. 3,200 for 3200 will be delivered to Pelosi when it is complete and the hope is that this petition and these actions will help strengthen her hand when she goes into the conference that will join the House and Senate versions of a health care reform bill for President Obama to sign after passage by Congress.

IMG00017In Buffalo, the health care advocates have a specific target of their actions – United Healthcare Group, which has offices in Buffalo. United Healthcare’s CEO makes $57 thousand dollars AN HOUR, yet he heads a corporation that denies claims to average Americans who pay their premiums. Those Americans who often make less in a year what he makes every hour can be plunged into financial ruin with the stroke of an administrative pen at the private health insurance company. The protest today was to point out that this is not the way health care should be delivered in the US.

With another 6 weeks left in this long fight for affordable, quality health care for everyone in America, actions will be ramping up. Contact me at the Buffalo office if you would like to get involved: dcihak@citizenactionny.org.

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