Jul 23 2009

Doctors, Media Critics to Deliver Prescription for a Broader TV Debate on Healthcare

July 28, NYC: Petition delivery at ABC

WHAT: The national media watch group FAIR and local healthcare advocacy groups will deliver a petition signed by over 11,000 people demanding that the TV networks include single-payer in their coverage of the national healthcare debate. The petition’s signatories include Obama’s longtime physician Dr. David Scheiner, filmmaker Michael Moore, former MSNBC host Phil Donahue, actors Mike Farrell, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, and doctors Quentin Young, Stephanie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein of Physicians for a National Health Program. The petition will be presented to ABC News, which disinvited Dr. Scheiner from its recent forum on healthcare reform, where he’d been planning to ask Obama a question about single-payer.

WHO: FAIR, Physicians for a National Health Program, Healthcare Now!, Private Health Insurance Must Go Coalition, Code Pink and the Raging Grannies

WHEN: noon-1 pm

Tues. July 28


77 West 66th St.,

New York City


In addition to the petitions, the groups will be presenting ABC with a giant prescription–for a broader healthcare debate. The colorfully costumed Raging Grannies will be performing songs about single-payer healthcare and the health insurance industry. And local healthcare advocates will be illustrating their slogan highlighting the plight of the millions of Americans with no health coverage (“your ass is not covered”) by sporting hospital gowns with fake exposed behinds.


FAIR’s petition, which is available at

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/592/t/9039/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1993 ,

reads as follows:

Many experts see single-payer national health insurance as the most sensible solution to expand coverage to the uninsured and to reduce costs.

This proposal polls well with the public, who preferred it two-to-one over a privatized system in a recent survey (New York Times/CBS, 1/11-15/09). It is also preferred by 59 percent of physicians, according to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (4/1/08).

Yet a recent study by FAIR found that of hundreds of stories about health care in major outlets earlier this year, only five stories included the views of advocates of single-payer–none of which appeared on the television networks.

The insurance lobbies and many politicians may not want to talk about single-payer. But that makes it all the more important that the media do.

Please cover single-payer healthcare proposals, and stop silencing their advocates.