Pay to Play Politics is Unacceptable for Health Care Reform

Yesterday morning, eight doctors, lawyers and other activists stood up for single payer health care. We stood up during a hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. The hearing was only to hear from the insurance industry, pharmaceutical companies, HMO’s and business interests. They did not want to hear about a real national health care plan.

I was one of the eight.

We stood up to the private health insurance industry, to the corporate power in Congress and demanded a single payer national health care plan where everybody is in and nobody is out. We want a plan that ensures the peoples right to choose their own doctor, hospital and health care treatment. We want a plan that will control costs – something that cannot be done unless the insurance industry, HMO’s and pharmaceutical companies are challenged.

The Senate Finance Committee which has taken millions from the insurance industry, HMO’s, pharmaceutical industry – those that profit from health care in America only scheduled their donors to speak. It was pay to play on display in Washington, DC before the corrupt Senate Finance Committee.

We stood up and told the truth. The Emperor Has No Clothes we said. We were arrested and charged with “disruption of Congress” a euphemism for telling the truth in Congress.

You can see the C-SPAN and other videos on our new website ProsperityAgenda.US. You can see the news reports from The Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Politico, Democracy Now and National Public Radio which all carried stories about the protest. Prosperity Agenda is an economic justice project of the Campaign for Fresh Air and Clean Politics. You can help us develop an economy for all, including a health care system for all, by participating – share your comments, ideas and strategies. Join our effort.

Chairman Baucus, invited his major donors to the table: the health insurance industry was there, so were the Chamber of Commerce, the right wing Heritage Foundation, the Business Roundtable, Blue Cross Blue Shield and corporate liberals who have sold out the people like Andy Stern, Ron Pollack and AARP.

But the most popular and efficient health care reform was not at the table. It was not mentioned even though it is the one favored by a majority of doctors, nurses, economists and the American people. Only those who paid to play were included.

For the last few weeks people have been calling and emailing Senator Baucus and other Finance Committee members urging them to include single payer advocates. We were told – no, no one for single payer would be allowed to speak.

So, yesterday, at 10 a.m., the Baucus Eight, led by Prosperity Agenda and other single payer advocates, took to the Senate Finance Committee. We confronted the committee in front of a room filled with their campaign donors, in front of the American people watching live on C-SPAN and we told the truth. Three doctors joined us, spoke up and got arrested. The effort was endorsed by Physicians for a National Health Program – doctors are standing up for their patients saying “single payer now.”

I focused on corporate corruption of the senate and told the senators we need them to put the necessities of the people before the profits of their donors. We do not need a pay to play Blogojevich committee with a Blogojevich Chairman putting on phony hearings to fool the public.

Last week Senator Richard Durbin said the banks “own” the Congress. This week it is evident, that when it comes to health care the health care profiteers own Congress, especially the Senate Finance Committee. If we do not put forward organized, aggressive, grass roots action we will see a swindle of the American people. In the name of false health care reform billions in tax payer dollars will go to campaign donors and the health care problem will continue to worsen.

It is time for concerted action.

We have the power to ensure health care for all in a national single payer health care program that ends the corruption of the health insurance industry, the HMO’s and the pharmaceutical industry.

We can do it … together.

Let’s make it happen.

Kevin Zeese co-directs Popular Resistance and is on the coordinating council for the Maryland Green Party. Read other articles by Kevin, or visit Kevin's website.

6 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Al said on May 8th, 2009 at 10:31am #

    Not gonna happen.

    American sheeple are too dumb & brainwashed to see the truth!

  2. lichen said on May 8th, 2009 at 2:08pm #

    Actually, the majority of americans do see the truth, and want, need single payer healthchare!

  3. bozh said on May 8th, 2009 at 4:46pm #

    “truth” what is that? Is there such an entity? The fact is 97% of americans [hey, folks, they are people or sheeple just like everywhere else] voted against healthcare.
    but they want it? And whose permission are they waiting for before asking for it?

    so they are waiting for a permit. Constitution is not going to give it to them; being so written that they get nothing unless it is the uncle who ‘gives’- the only caregiver in america.

    and the giver or indiangiver first must receive before ‘giving’ away anything.
    who is it that gives to the uncle in the first place? But, of course, all amers.
    but the people can have guns; constitution gives them the right to bear arms. And they are affordable; anybody can buy them. Not, of course, healthcare!

    97% reject their basic human rights but vote for the lofty ones such as the right to speak even tho vast numbers don’t intend to speak anyway [nor have an opportunity for it] since they have been taught that they are inept, stupid, lazy, etc.
    so, call the people who have rejected the basics by any other name, it wld taste the same.
    got to give it to the ruling class in US! It has done a fantastic job by puting most amers in a spell that may last another century +. tnx

  4. Tennessee-Chavizta said on May 8th, 2009 at 8:14pm #


    By Greg Evensen
    May 2, 2009


    “Mr. President, it is natural for man to indulge in the illusions of hope. I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it. There is no longer any room for hope. If we wish to be free—if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending—if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained—we must fight! I repeat it, sir, we MUST fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Hosts is all that is left us!

    Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace—but there is no peace. The war is actually begun. Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH!!”—–Patrick Henry


    “Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance, they are the people’s liberty teeth.”
    “It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.”
    “The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference—they deserve a place of honor with all that’s good.”
    “Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”
    “To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.”
    –Quotes from General George Washington


    “I am not among those who fear the people. They, and not the rich, are our dependence for continued freedom. And to preserve their independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude.

    If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds, we must come to labor sixteen hours in the twenty-four, give the earnings of fifteen of these to the government for their debts and daily expenses; and the sixteenth being insufficient to afford us bread. We must live then, on oatmeal and potatoes; have no time to think, no means of calling our miss managers to account but be made glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow suffers.

    Our land-holders, too, retaining indeed the title and stewardship of estates called theirs, but held really in trust for the treasury, must wander, in foreign countries, and be contented with penury, obscurity, exile, and watch the pretentious glory of the nation.

    This example reads to us the salutary lesson, that private fortunes are destroyed by public as well as by private extravagances.


    And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance, becomes a precedent for the second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering.

    Then begins, indeed, the bellum omnium in omnia, which some philosophers observing to be so general in this world, have mistaken for the natural, instead of the abusive state of man.

    And the fore-horse of this frightful team is PUBLIC DEBT. Taxation follows that, and in its train, wretchedness and oppression.” —–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Samuel Kercheval, Monticello, July 12, 1816

    Upon countless hours of reflection, I remain convinced that the only hope for a rediscovered, reinvented and revived nation, lies within the hearts and souls of her people. I mean clearly, people who understand her past, have worked to sustain her as a republic, and are prepared to do WHATEVER IS NECESSARY to rescue her from an evil so vile as to defy description. We have entered the city limits of hell on earth. Only a rescue on the level of angel warriors can escort us out of the mess we have created and allowed to occur. Assuming that the Heavenly Legions would prefer to see at least a modicum of effort on our part, I still see a catastrophic struggle on the near horizon that will call for every last ounce of our collective courage to see it through to ultimate victory.

    God calls each of us to a path chosen and designed by Him because He knows our strengths and our flaws. He is the one who stands by us in the dark and calms us just before battle. I assure you I know this to be true. I have lived it out many times. He has never failed me. Like any seasoned warrior, I am prepared to do what I can for as long as God asks me to fight. I will also tell you that any victorious combatant will readily admit that it was his comrades in arms that made the ultimate difference and who stand with him in the gap that allowed survival and success. Strength in numbers and superior firepower are key elements in any battle. That is not a mere cliché. IT IS THE GO-AHEAD MARGIN!

    However, without an A-Team of like-minded Green Berets who, when asked how far will they go, answer…”ALL THE WAY,” even then, you are destined to fight against all reasonable odds of success. As the late Charles Hastings Smith, the “Poet of the Ozarks,” and a personal friend of mine once said, “I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. I have Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made—I am a disciple of Jesus. I won’t look back, let up, slow down or back away. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future secure. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, diluted or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, or negotiate at the table of the enemy I will not shut up, let up, or give up. I serve Jesus the Christ, I am already a victor with and by Him. N-O-T-H-I-N-G E-L-S-E M-A-T-T-E-R-S!” I could not agree more, Charles.

    With friends and family like these listed below—those who have meant the most and who have accompanied me and the one who has paid the final price for my life, I can never thank them enough for their valor and their love for me and their native land.”


    And so I begin this next phase of trial and effort for my beloved Republic. I hold her in my arms and whisper sweet assurances that I will not forsake her nor leave her without doing all that is possible to bring her back to peace and tranquility, safe from those who would violate and wound her further. I retreat for the time being into her gentle steams and forests, mountains and plains, farms and ranches… help those who need it the most and can do the least–the weary, the lost, and the defeated. I will assist as you now gather in small groups to discuss, prepare, train, and plan for winning the struggle that is set before you. It is the ultimate test wherein a nation and her people win freedom and life, or drown in a sea of slavery and defeat. For me, there is absolutely NO choice. I will do all that my experience, age, and tactical abilities allow me to do. I choose to join you on the field of struggle. In my heart, I pray to live long enough to see my children thrive and my grandchildren grow in peace—if that be possible. If not, then let me struggle for them, if someone must again see the horror that pits good men against evil ones. Oh, God, may they not have to see that. The willing, the righteous, and the triumphant must survive…there is no second place. Let me confront the bastards that eat men’s lives for wealth and greed; I long to place a dagger in their putrid hearts.

    And now, here are thoughts about the few that have traveled most of life with me. How grateful I am for their counsel, patience and love. My precious wife Liz, with her Christian testimony that has never failed, and a heart that loves and protects, she is our family’s model for life. My mother, whose kindness and generosity still abound. My sister Pam, for the courage and quiet dignity she has shown alone, for many years. To my brother Jeff, a true and faithful brother in heart through life that has never failed me. My son, Ben, is a peace officer and family loyal gentleman that stands above the rest, moral, strong and true. Jessica, my daughter, is breathtaking in her outer and inner beauty, a fighter for what she believes. Rachael, Jessica, and Nathan, Liz’ magnificent children, the family that came to me after my wife Yvonne went to be with the Lord. Liz’ “mom” Carol, sister and brother-in-law Kathy and Dan, our grandchildren Chloe, Rory, Gabriel, Sophia, Gavin, Trey, Pyper and Ayva, are all so unique. To Kathleen, Ronnie and Beverly, on the high plains of New Mexico, thanks, for giving me your wisdom and acceptance, you are all truly my precious family.

    Rick, we have seen so much as peace officers. I can’t imagine going through this without you manning a “50.” John, you are the only honest attorney I know. Bail me out someday, please. Brian, the only honest “fed” I have ever known….I’m counting on you to live out your oath to this nation, we are counting on you.

    Then of course there are Bob and Darlene, our “end days” family, Billy Joe, Col. Nelson, Jay, Jackie, John at RBN, John at My Power pad, Drew Raines, Dave, George, Don Nicholoff, Jack McLamb, Richard Mack, Chris, Bill Moore, good friends, always there at the critical moments.

    Men of valor, my partners, Kansas State Troopers Larry Zeutenhorst, Charlie Smith and Conroy O’Brien, all there the day I received the Kansas Medal of Honor, the “Governor’s Award” at the State Capitol, sharing the moment and now all passed on to Glory ahead of us, waiting and watching. Hundreds and thousands of police officers at all levels who know the truth, I will be with you in spirit, on duty, standing against illegal orders, and all for the protection of “the people.”

    My in-laws, Mel and Edna, always there, steady, wise, loving.

    My dear deceased father flew a B-24 that paved the skies with power and courage. Finally, among thousands more I could name is one Maynard Brazeal, retired director of the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center. A man of courage, intellect, compassion for his men and valor in action only a few will ever see, one of my dearest friends and mentors. God protect you. My life and my dedication are made complete because of what you have all done for me. Thank you just opens the book. Brotherly love for all of you binds it together.

    To Paul Walter, Devvy Kidd, Alan Stang, Frosty, Coach Dave, Chuck Baldwin, Andrew Wallace, Sheriff Jim, and others at, who have distinguished themselves in full view of America, indeed the world. Friends I count on in this battle of words and people who possess courage unmatched in my view. They are standing “on the green” for you folks; they have sacrificed more than you can know with no reward, for the good of our nation. God bless each one, richly.

    Ladies and gentlemen of the Republic, “Now is the time for all good men and women to come to the aid of their country……” The rest is up to you. For the love of God and country, do not fail. Stand rock steady. Do not quit. Do not fear. God is with you, if you claim Him and surrender to His love. In the end THAT is truly, ALL that matters.

    I am going into the field to teach men and women how to live and survive. I will be available at moc.asudnaltraehehtnull@gerg

    Stay the course, your children and their children have nowhere-else-to-go. Believing we can and will get this job done; thank you for being there. Thanks for defending America, her patriots, and all of our FREEDOM.

  5. RH2 said on May 9th, 2009 at 5:06am #


    Basically, a value is an importance or significance measured by an ethical or a normative standard. For instance, the dignity of the individual is inviolable, freedom is fundamental to individual well-being, the right of the individual to health care, criminals must be punished … etc. A value system, the entirety of values, is not a “divine” entity, but a human creation. Rulers in a society usually reflect the quality of the ruled. If an American president is garbage, for example Obama, then the society of his voters must inevitably be garbage. One cannot assume that the Obama voters had been victims of any natural force.

    Change and respect for human rights? America is not the traditional land of respect and revolutions. The American Empire has been built on a culture of slavery and submissiveness. And the voters of today are the slaves of yesterday. Therefore I do not expect that the Americans would initiate any substantial change of the wretched and imperial “God bless America” in the near future. So the current garbage will go on. Of course the “fathers of the American constitution” and their imperialist sons have their cultural roots in Europe. But this is a cold comfort for Americans and the world. Americans still nurse the old European principle of “space for living”, space for dominance, space for self-help leaving the individual alone to his fate and misery. For the needy American masses it is no matter where the evil is historically rooted.

  6. Josie Michel-Brüning said on May 9th, 2009 at 10:06am #

    Yes, I agree with RH2 totally and to most of the other comments, as well!
    On the eve of the French Revolution Marie Antoinette asked: “People have no bread, why don’t they eat cake then?”
    However, there is more needed than intelligent comments in a space left for us in the Internet.
    As Kevin Zeese and others said in similar words referring to other urgent issues:
    “It is time for concerted action.

    We have the power to ensure health care for all in a national single payer health care program that ends the corruption of the health insurance industry, the HMO’s and the pharmaceutical industry.

    We can do it … together.

    Let’s make it happen.”
    Many young and older people helped Obama win his election by going from house to house and talking to the people. It was an example for what ist possible. You can take his very slogan for fulfilling the change which he promised.