"Arrest insurance execs for criminal activity," health care supporters demand

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WASHINGTON -Some 5,000 activists demanding "Health Care Now!" descended on the nation's capital March 9 to call for the arrest of the nation's leading health insurance executives, who had gathered at the Ritz Carlton Hotel here. Arriving on buses from up and down the east coast, demonstrators jammed the streets around the hotel, filled the air with their chants and let the "titans" of big insurance know that the battle for health care is anything but finished.

The enthusiastic crowd heard William McNary, president of US Action, urge Congress to "listen to us: we want an up or down vote on health care." McNary then presented a people's warrant for the arrest of the CEOs who were meeting inside the hotel. Reading from the warrant, he charged them with: "violating contracts and denying people agreed upon coverage, laundering money through the Chamber of Commerce and subverting democracy by bribing public officials." He pointed out that Congress has a duty to protect Americans from enemies, foreign and domestic, and that "big insurance, big Wall Street banks, and big oil" have proven themselves to be domestic enemies of the people. McNary called on the American people "to bring criminals, corporate and otherwise, to justice."

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, told the crowd, "Inside that building are the titans of the healthcare industry, the titans of greed." He noted that the average CEO in the industry makes 212 times what the average health care worker makes. "They won't stop unless we stop them," he continued. "The only thing that will stop them is legislation that forces them to become more humane. We're here to turn them over to the police and to say ‘do your duty, we're here to help you.'"

Family members and relatives of victims who have died from health insurance company abuse along with some survivors attempted to enter the hotel to serve the warrant and perform citizens arrests. They did not gain entry and this reporter and others saw some being arrested and led away when they refused to move from the entrance.

Among those demonstrating were members of organized health care groups, Working America, and many unions including, Communications Workers, Steel Workers, AFSCME, SEIU, AFT, UFCW, Teamsters, Government Employees and Postal Workers. In addition to Richard Trumka, union leaders who addressed the crowd included Gerald McEntee of AFSCME and the AFT's Randi Weingarten.

Photo: Ben Sears

 

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  • This is overkill. Let the corporate execs go for just playing the game. Get over it and move on. Look to the government for this calamity.

    Posted by CPR Certification, 02/29/2012 9:09pm (3 years ago)

  • Love this. It's time to start holding big businesses accountable for their actions or else we will never have a balanced economy again!

    Posted by Delco Remy, 08/04/2011 12:27am (3 years ago)

  • I think big insurance companies definitely need to rethink some of their policies. The price we pay for insurance is outrageous and then we still pay high prices at hospitals and doctors offices. Something needs to be done.

    Posted by Surety Bail Bond, 06/29/2011 11:15am (3 years ago)

  • It doesn't matter who protests or what happens, it seems like nobody is ever happy. Such a shame that people can't find a little more harmony on issues like these...maybe we just need to be less dependent on our government and stop relying on them to provide for us.

    Thanks for the article.

    Posted by Indianapolis Auto Dealers, 04/27/2011 5:41pm (3 years ago)

  • The only way change within big industry will happen is if the general public votes other than Dem or Rep. Change needs to happen from the very top and then down to big business. The criminals are in public office that are letting this happen.

    Posted by bail insurance, 04/19/2011 3:41pm (4 years ago)

  • The picture in this article hits close to home. There are a lot of good people that work in the Insurance Field. The sad part the good people are not the ones in control. High salaried CEOs are the problem...no accountability.

    Posted by indianapolis seo, 03/29/2011 11:35am (4 years ago)

  • A legislator that makes 212 times more than the average health care worker, that is absurd. They probably take jets from one meeting to the next. That is so outrageous when we have people that struggle for any type of health plan possible. Bringing criminals, corporate or otherwise to justice, I believe we have a better chance of serving parking tickets to tailgaters as to getting justice brought to the corporate criminals.

    Posted by HSA, 01/11/2011 1:30pm (4 years ago)

  • Of course its not a crime to do business in the USA, but when your business misleads and harms millions of people, it can be a crime! Predatory businesses are not legal just because they are "businesses" and not charities.

    Posted by electrician, 12/14/2010 12:07pm (4 years ago)

  • Maybe insurance companies should close up shop and let people fend for them selves if they dont like there services. its a business not a charity. Doing business is not a crime in America. Not yet anyway!

    Posted by , 03/11/2010 9:21pm (5 years ago)

  • Why are the victims being arrested? We have no right to citizens arrest and no right to life as poor people. To hell with the CEOs, it's time to do something drastic and final.

    Posted by Erica, 03/11/2010 1:36pm (5 years ago)

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