Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Media and video on today's Senate Finance Committee roundtable

Once again, the people who addressed the Senate Finance Committee on behalf of the majority of Americans and their doctors, nurses, and allied health-care professionals did it from the floor, without official invitation, and five of them got tossed from the hearing room for it.

The five arrested included two RNs, members of the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association; two physicians, members of Physicians for a National Health Program, and a patient activist with PNHP and Health Care Now. The California Nurses Association press release, with statements from those who engaged in civil disobedience, is here.

Marking the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, some 40 other RNs staged a silent protest – standing before the committee in red nursing scrubs and turning their backs to show signs reading "Nurses Say: Patients First. Stop AHIP. Pass Single-Payer." AHIP, America's Health Insurance Plans, is the private insurance industry lobby arm that is given a regular voice by the Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, which is in the forefront of discussion on a health plan.

As they left the room about three minutes into Baucus's opening remarks, several in the audience applauded. The protesters also got a round of applause, as well as a call from Baucus for Capitol police to intervene "more expeditiously."

Other coverage:
RTT News, MSNBC, Springfield (MO)News-Leader profile of one of the arrested doctors

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