Progress Illinois, October 30, 2015
Chanting, "Patients, not profits," a few hundred single-payer health care advocates took aim at the health insurance industry late Friday afternoon with a rally outside the Blue Cross Blue Shield Tower in downtown Chicago.
The protest came on the first day of the national Single-Payer Strategy Conference taking place in Chicago this weekend. Healthcare-NOW!, Labor Campaign for Single Payer and One Payer States is organizing the conference, which is said to be the biggest gathering of the advocates from across the country in support of a single-payer, Medicare-for-all type health care system.
Representatives from the Physicians for a National Health Program, which is also holding its annual conference in Chicago this weekend, were also at Friday's rally. The advocates carried signs reading, "Health care for all now!"
"We must come together to advocate for a health care system that is fair and just for all Americans, not just a few who can afford it," Dr. Robert Zarr, president of Physicians for a National Health Program, told the crowd outside the Blue Cross Blue Shield building, 300 E. Randolph St.
"Please join me in the fight for what is right and telling the truth about the evils of the for-profit insurance industry whose primary interest is in making a profit for their shareholders. We can democratize health care by democratizing our health insurance. We do it by making health insurance public."
HERE'S MORE from Zarr, plus comments from United Steelworkers International Vice President Tom Conway and scenes from the protest: