HEAL NY gave a huge push for the New York Health Care Act this past weekend at two different events in New York. First, they took their flyers, petitions and giant Medicare4All sign to the Bernie rally on Saturday. Their giant sign made it into Brooklyner, where you can also read more about the event.
Then, on Sunday, HEAL NY members were among more than 150 protesters—including patients, medical students, doctors, nurses, and union members—holding a rousing rally on Sunday March 4 outside the world headquarters of Pfizer, one of the world’s largest drug companies, who recently announced price increases for 40 of its drugs. As co-sponsors of the Pharma Greed Kills event, we called for a single payer health care system, including national Medicare for All and the New York Health Act, that will do away with outrageous private insurance company profits, will enable us to drive down prescription drug prices, and will ensure that everyone gets the medications they need without exception or financial strain.
The pharmaceutical industry—the most profitable in the world—has hiked prices by an average of 6.3% so far this year. Pfizer raked in profits of $21.3 billion in 2017, while their CEO was paid $27.9 million. Speaker after speaker recounted stories of people who died or emptied their bank accounts because life-saving medication was denied by their insurance companies and others who rationed their medications, exacerbating their illnesses. Health care workers talked about hours spent trying to get their patients covered for the drugs and treatments they needed and the ongoing segregation and discrimination that is fostered within for-profit healthcare.
We need to continue confronting and calling out the vested special interests who control and profit off the current medical system. HEAL NY is continuing to work for passage of the New York Health Act and the improved and expanded Medicare for All bill recently introduced in Congress by Pramila Jayapal.