The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sarah Massey 202 445-1169, Lacy MacAuley 202 445-4692

Nine Americans Jailed This Morning When They Tried to Confront Senator Joe Lieberman for Accepting Insurance Company Money

Mobilization For Health Care for All Takes National Sit-In Campaign to Capitol Hill, ask “Who do You Represent, Joe, Companies or Constituents?”


Dozens of people held a sit-in at Senator Lieberman's Capitol Hill
office this morning to demand that Senator Lieberman pledge to stop
taking health insurance company campaign contributions and free up
funds so they can be used to pay for patient care. For 30 minutes,
demonstrators requested to talk to Senator Lieberman and chanted
"Patients not Profits, Health Care for All." They carried signs that
say, "Insurance $ is making America sick." Nine members of the
Mobilization for Health Care for All sat down in the office lobby until
forcibly removed by the police.

Those arrested:

1. Midge Potts
2. John *
3. Kai *
4. Brittany Florio
5. Linda Larson
6. Danielle Green
7. George Ripley
8. Katherine Banhart
9. Polly *

* People who gave only their first names are refusing to give
their names to the police, seeking to stay in jail until Sen Lieberman
pledges to stop taking private insurance company contributions.

The sit-in was part of a national mobilization called the Mobilization for Health Care for All (
to end insurance abuse and win health care for all. The Mobilization
for Health Care for All demands that insurance companies re-direct
their lobbying funds to pay for doctor-requested treatments for people
with life-threatening conditions. In some states, one in five of these
requests is denied by insurance company bureaucrats.

"There is nothing more important to the general welfare of the
nation than healthcare. We need a system that places patients before
profits," says George Ripley from Washington, DC, who was arrested this
morning and remains in jail.

Since 1989, only 10 other current senators have
brought in more cash from the health sector than Lieberman, who has
collected $2.6 million in that time. Senator Lieberman has accepted
over $110,000 from private health insurance Aetna in campaign
contributions so far this year. In 2009, Aetna has already spent over
$2 million dollars in lobbying for health care a system based on
private coverage, while denying countless claims for patients who need

Sources: Center for Responsive Politics and