For the second time in as many weeks, a series of protests, some silent and some more vocal, disrupted a Senate Finance Committee hearing, with advocates for a single-payer health system at the core.
Healthcare is a human right, shouted one woman. We want guaranteed healthcare. Another protester, who identified himself as a doctor, called out that, healthcare should be for patients, not for profits. Earlier, about 20 women stood quietly in the crowded hearing room, wearing red T-shirts that admonished the private insurance industry and called for a single-payer system. After about 10 minutes, they left to a smattering of applause both inside and outside of the room.
The protests were called by the Leadership Conference on Guaranteed Healthcare, which includes the California Nurses Association, National Nurses Organizing Committee and Physicians for a National Health Program, according to a news release. In all, four protesters were escorted from the room by Capitol police.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.), whose committee was meeting to discuss a number of ways to pay for comprehensive healthcare reform, said he would be willing to meet with members of the coalition. Believe me, we hear you, he said.