In the windy, late morning of Saturday, December 11, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care and community allies gathered outside the headquarters of Humana in downtown Louisville where they demanded an end to Medicare Direct Contracting Entities (DCEs), a program that could fully privatize Traditional fee-for-service Medicare without a vote by Congress.
Humana is one of 53 for-profit DCEs into which seniors who have chosen traditional Medicare can be placed without their consent.
As the post tornado winds howled through Humana’s marble pillars, Stephen Bartlett played his trumpet. Dr. Garrett Adams and the Rev. Ron Robinson read a poem about DCEs, “How the Grinch Stole Medicare”, while Steven Katz, in full Grinch costume, performed. Jill Harmer and Brian Daly led the group in holiday and health care songs, including one by Lee Stanfield of Tucson with the line about Medicare “Don’t Privatize It, Supersize it.”
Ann Hagan-Grigsby spoke from her vast community health care experience to point to the need to both save Medicare from privatization and to win a national single payer system that will cover everyone.
Kay Tillow urged everyone to take action by calling congress (1-202-224-3121) and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra (1-202-205-5445) demanding that they end the DCE program. Local singer, songwriter John Gage had everyone joining him as he closed out the event with Pete Seeger’s “God’s Counting on Me, God’s Counting on You.”
Photos here and here. Press release
Thank you to Harriette Seiler for providing the sound equipment, taking photos, and handling the media release, to Peg Box and Charlie Casper for making the phone calls, to Ron Hargrove and Rolf Friis for videos (see above), to NationalSinglePayer.com for the poem, and to all who worked and participated to make it happen.
As a result of publicity about the December 11 protest at Humana, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health Care has had the opportunity to do a number of interviews on DCEs. Here are two of them.
Building Bridges with Mimi Rosenberg and Ken Nash