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Health Insurance Giants Arrest Children While Senators Arrest Seniors, Nurses, Doctors

If you doubt for one moment the power of money and its control over whether or not our nation will grant the human right of healthcare to all, just look at who has been arrested speaking up for publicly funded, privately delivered healthcare in the past 90 days.

Frankie, 11, and eight others were arrested in July in Des Moines, IA, as Blue Cross felt a little too much pressure to answer questions about their denials of care and their profits:

In the offices of Senator Diane Feinstein, D-CA, eight senior citizens were arrested in July because they wanted just a few minutes of the Senator's time -- by telephone, not even in person -- to make the case for some sanity in healthcare reform.

And we all know about the nurses and doctors and single-payer advocates arrested in the Senate Finance Committee hearings in May. They were asking for a seat at the infamous table where the big boys and girls get to play -- err, I mean where the stakeholders who have given enough in campaign contributions get to sit while the health insurance industry, the big pharmaceuticals and the huge for-profit hospital corporations design our reform to make sure their profits grow ever larger and that Frankie in Iowa, the seniors in California, the nurses and docs in DC are silenced by whatever means necessary.

Are we hearing this? Are we seeing it? Are we holding this government, under Barack Obama and his allies in Congress, accountable for arresting 11-year-olds and seniors and nurses and doctors simply because they speak out and ask for their own human rights accountability?

Pro-life? Give me a break. Pro-family? Not hardly. Healthcare as a human right? Nope. We are so far from that point that every one of us ought to be preparing for the time and the issues we hold dear to be targeted and to have its discourse and potential outcomes so orchestrated and controlled that we'll see ourselves handcuffed and locked away for simply whispering an alternate option.

You see, while each of these groups of arrestees were advocating for healthcare for all -- publicly funded and privately delivered -- reform as the most ethical, moral and economically sound reform for this nation, the frightening reality is that in 2009 in these United States, our freedom of speech and expression has been bought and paid for by the same people the President wants us to trust with our life and death healthcare decisions.

And, every single one of us will be forced to buy the defective product that they sell -- a product sold to insure our health which neither insures that we'll get needed healthcare nor that we'll be protected from financial ruin as policyholders.

Frankie, I am so sorry they arrested you. You are a brave and wise girl. I promise you that I will fight to make sure your voice is not silenced and that your right to grow up and thrive with healthcare when you need it will be achieved. Thank you for caring enough to tell us what we already knew.

Arresting 11-year-olds? Come on, Mr. President, Mrs. Pelosi, Mr. Hoyer, and Senators Reid, Baucus and Kennedy. You cannot possibly believe that is the right way for this nation to go to protect the healthcare industry even if they did buy your loyalty with $18.5 million in campaign donations to Mr. Obama alone and millions more to the rest of you.

Are your daughters and elders safe at that price and just not the little ones in Iowa? For shame.

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Donna Smith

Donna Smith
Donna Smith Donna Smith is the national chair of the Healthcare Not Warfare campaign for Progressive Democrats of America.  She was featured in Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, SiCKO.

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