Protests planned for insurance industry meeting

Looks like there will be some civil disobedience on the agenda at next week’s America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) meeting.  The insurance industry will be meeting for a “National Policy Forum”

 At a time when the nation may face major changes in the financing and delivery of health care, AHIP’s 2010 National Policy Forum provides a unique opportunity to share information and insights and to act on the issues of overriding concern to us: providing affordable coverage and quality care for all Americans.

*  Fierce HealthCare reports:

If you’ve got a bone to pick with the health plan industry, you aren’t the only one. A collection of consumer advocacy groups have set plans to hold protests at the upcoming AHIP convention, arguing that the industry isn’t offering real choices.

The partners, who include labor union organizations, anti-poverty groups and single-payer advocates, intend to make their case for instituting a competitive public health plan instead. They’re building their case, in part, on a report released by Health Care for America Now! on health plan competition, which suggests that competition has been all but eliminated in many U.S. markets.

 Dear Single Payer Supporters –

 National organizations backing a public option, and opposing taxes and workers benefits, are going to try and shut down the annual meeting of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) this coming Tuesday, March 9th, in Washington, D.C. There are plans for a massive protest, and the goal is to essentially prevent the meeting from happening by occupying all of the blocks surrounding the conference location. The insurance industry is getting away with murder in Congress

– not even moderate proposals are able to overcome industry opposition.

If you are interested in taking part in this important action, there will be a bus leaving from Boston on Monday at 11AM, and I would encourage you to bring single payer signs, buttons, and literature to help make a statement that we need to establish health care as a right and that our democracy should be answering to us, not AHIP’s lobbyists.

 * Lead organizer Health Care for America Now is asking health policy leaders not to cross their picket line. Politico reports: The letter HCAN is sending to participants:

On March 9th, thousands of activists will protest outside America’s Health Insurance Plans’ (AHIP) national policy conference at the Ritz Carlton Hotel and demand that Congress enact the comprehensive health reform legislation that the insurance industry continues to oppose. I am writing to respectfully ask that you reconsider and decline the invitation to participate as a panelist at the AHIP meeting.


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