By Single Payer Action –
About 75 to 100 single payer activists surrounded Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s Portland, Oregon office this afternoon.
The activists insisted that the Congressman from Oregon’s third district join 77 of his colleagues in the House and sign on to HR 676 – single payer legislation in the House of Representatives.
The protest was organized by Single Payer Action and included doctors, nurses and activists from Physicians for a National Health Program, Portland Jobs With Justice Healthcare Committee, and local unions.
Twenty of the protesters entered the Congressman’s office, delivering a letter signed by over sixty citizens asking again that he co-sponsor HR 676.
The twenty activists then laid inert in his office for twenty-two minutes – in memory of the 22,000 who, according to the Institute of Medicine, die every year due to lack of health insurance.
Those who couldn’t fit in the Congressman’s office were strewn across the hall outside and scattered on the sidewalks in front of his office.
Portland police were present, but the protesters were allowed the entire twenty-two minutes of the “die-in” without anyone being asked to move.
The event ended peacefully with a call to those present to mobilize for a town hall meeting on healthcare to be held by Congressman Blumenauer and Howard Dean on June 5 at 3:00PM at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus.
“Sixty Americans die every day due to lack of health insurance,” said Single Payer Action’s Philip Kauffman. “Sooner or later, we will get single payer in this country. To save lives, it’s better that we have it sooner rather than later. Congressman Blumenauer needs to get with the single payer program and put the lives of innocent Americans above profits for the health insurance industry.”