North East joins other Health Care Reform activists for Rally in Duluth
Alex Livadaros, AFSCME Local 66 member
The North East Area Labor Council teamed up with other health care
reform organizations for a rally this past weekend. About 65 people
attended the rally on the steps of the Gerald Heaney Federal Building
to call on congress to pass health care reform now. Speakers included
Alex Livadaros, small business owner and member of AFSCME local 66,
and Alan Netland, President of NEALC and AFSCME local 66.
Kathy Heltzer, a Social Work Professor at UMD and UEA member, was the MC for the event. Other speakers included Pastor Kathy Nelson of Peace United
Church, Frank Boyle former WI legislator and retired member of LIUNA,
and Duluth City Councilor-elect Kerry Gauthier.
After the rally, health care activists marched to Blue Cross Blue
Shield to present a list of demands to the company and place a
tombstone in front of their offices in memory of the 45,000 people who
die every year due to the lack of health insurance. Blue Cross Blue
Shield recently sent some of its' customers letters urging them to
contact congress and urge their opposition to the "public option."
BCBS stated that the public option is simply "a slippery slope towards
a single payer system" and then asks, "Who wants that?"
That same day, customers received another letter saying their premiums
were jumping 11% next year. BCBS asks, "who would want a public
option?" How about people whose premiums are growing by more than 10%
in a single year? Sounds like they could use the public option.
MC Kathy Heltzer (UEA member) introduces Pastor Kathy Nelson