On Wed., Oct. 11, 2023, Kentuckians for Single Payer Health (KSPH) protested at the Humana Headquarters in downtown Louisville demanding
*an end to denial of care
*the right to choose your doctor
*an end to forced placement in Medicare Advantage
*an end to ACO REACH and the privatization of Medicare
*enactment of a national, not-for-profit single payer plan–Improved Medicare for All.
The action was waged in solidarity with New York City retirees fighting the city’s effort to take away their traditional Medicare who demonstrated on the same day at the Aetna and United Healthcare corporate offices in Hartford, Connecticut. There were demonstrations in a dozen other cities, including Detroit and Denver, at the offices of other health insurance companies.
Harriette Seiler, Secretary of KSPH, was featured on WHAS TV, Channel 11. Humana Medicare Advantage and other Humana plans in Kentucky recently failed to reach agreement with Baptist Health physicians forcing thousands of Kentuckians to have to find new doctors or pay out-of-network fees. This crisis impacts Kentucky state retirees, county retirees, school board retirees other than teachers, and retirees and employees of Local 862 who work at two giant Ford plants in Louisville. Later on Oct. 11, UAW Local 862 workers at the Kentucky Truck Plant joined the strike for a contract. Restoration of retiree health benefits and pensions are UAW demands in the current negotiations.
Kirk Gillenwaters, President of the Kentucky Alliance for Retired Americans and a member of Local 862, addressed the issues on WDRB TV.
Jill Harmer, KSPH Steering Committee Member; Bill Londrigan, President of the Kentucky AFL-CIO; Jeff Wiggins, Secretary-Treasurer of the KY AFL-CIO; Kay Tillow, Chair of KSPH, and Garrett Adams, MD, past president of Physicians for a National Health Program, were among those who addressed the crowd through a powerful sound system.
Chants of “Patients, Not Profits, Medicare for All,” and “Everybody In, Nobody Out” rang out above the noise of the construction on the Humana Building.
WDRB TV aired a story on Humana’s new CEO and included at the end additional coverage of the protest at Humana.
We are grateful to UAW retiree and skilled videographer Ron Hargrove for his creation of two videos from the demonstration.