Protesting Health Insurance Heavyweights
Congressman Eric Massa (D-N.Y.) led a protest Monday outside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Washington, site of the 2009 national conference of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a trade group for the health insurance industry.
"We are not radicals! We are not a fringe element!" shouted Massa, who opted not to use the bullhorn provided by protest organizers. "We are the 48 million Americans who cannot access health care today!"
Sign-waving protesters cheered as Massa delivered his full-throated support of single-payer health insurance. The protest, which attracted roughly 60 people, was organized chiefly by reform advocates Health Care for America Now, along with partners from the AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org and several other groups. Organizers decried AHIP as a special interest group that makes obscene profits to defend the status quo.