SAN DIEGO, CA. A scary crowd gathered outside Blue Shield’s Mission Valley offices last night, Monday, Nov. 2nd. It was part of a three-day protest against the giant health insurance company held by local San Diegan activists. See our earlier post here.
On-the-scene friends reported that about 75 people were at the 6pm demonstration. The rally capped a 45-hour candlelight vigil which symbolized the 45,000 deaths linked to our current health care system dominated by insurance companies, and the 45 million Americans who have no health insurance.
OB photographer Logan Marcus was there and took these shots.
Protesters Arrested at Blue Shield
By Kenny Goldberg / KPBS / Nov. 2, 2009
SAN DIEGO — About two dozen protesters demonstrated in front of the Mission Valley offices of Blue Shield Monday, November 2. Three people were arrested after they marched into the building and refused to leave.
The protest began mid-morning outside the Blue Shield building. Marchers wanted Blue Shield to stop spending money lobbying against health care reform. Protesters soon walked into the building, and tried to get in the Blue Shield office. The door was locked.
Protester Mary Bell said she wouldn’t leave until someone came out to talk. “We’ve tried everything else,” Bell said. “We rally every week, we write letters, we call. So we’re just trying to have someone pay attention.”
Bell and two others locked arms at the building’s entrance. Police eventually arrested them, and charged them with trespassing.
Protester reveals motives
One of the protesters at last night’s demo wrote this:
We all are dedicated to the “long haul”, to working no matter how long it takes to get real universal public health care in this country. We oppose the continued existence of a for-profit health insurance industry.
Reuters reported on September 17, 2009, that a Harvard study links 45,000 American deaths in 2007 alone, to lack of health insurance. Over a ten year period, about HALF A MILLION Americans have died due to lack of health insurance. This is an humanitarian crisis.
As former State Senator Sheila Kuehl, an ardent single payer advocate & original author of California’s single payer legislation, has said: “Blue Cross is double cross, Blue Shield is no shield. They have so many gaps in coverage, so many ways in which they’re going to deny you insurance, and there’s the co-pays, the deductibles, the unaffordable premiums, and as you see, just getting kicked off. Why? Because you used it.”
We demonstrators advocate a single payer (public) system of health care because we are sick and tired of the current insurance controlled system that is corrupting our political democracy and killing many of our most vulnerable citizens.
The demands presented at the sit-in were very simple:
“Blue Shield must immediately cease all spending on lobbying, political ads, and campaign contributions and use that money to pay for all doctor-requested treatment for member patients with life-threatening illnesses. “
For more information about the single payer movement, contact:
National Contact: Lacy MacAuley, (202) 445-4692, firstname.lastname@example.org
San Diego Vigil Contact: Erik Olson Fernandez, email@example.com
San Diego Sit-In Contact: Sylvia Hampton, 858-208-6572, firstname.lastname@example.org