This is a funny video, but the message is deadly serious– the Grannies participated to stress the need to fight the Obama administration, as President Obama has offered cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in the debt ceiling negotiations currently gripping Capitol Hill. While I personally didn’t vote for Obama, I think it is important to keep him as the focal point in yet another atrocity being leveled at the citizens of this country- in this case, the low or no-income, the elderly and sick. in addition, in Grand Central Station, the cops tried to stop us and said if we danced, we would be arrested!
– Ann Shirazi
for the Granny Peace Brigade
New York—While swinging their hips to a Motown groove, grannies tell Obama and congressional leaders to keep their hands off Medicare.
Angering many voters who supported him, President Obama has offered cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in the debt ceiling negotiations currently gripping Capitol Hill. So on the eve of Medicare’s 46th birthday on July 30th, the grassroots advocacy group Healthcare-NOW! releases a video of grannies performing a choreographed dance based on the Supremes’ hit to deliver an urgent demand: Medicare needs to be expanded, not cut.
Though having a good time doing a group dance, members of the Granny Peace Brigade and the Raging Grannies say this is a life-and-death issue. Advocates for Medicare expansion cite numbers from Harvard Medical School reporting that 45,000 people a year die in the U.S. because they don’t have health insurance; the number jumps to 101,000 when including people who are under-insured: they have insurance, but their insurance companies deny them necessary care when they get sick.
Bev Rice, a retired nurse who danced in the video, says “As a nurse I saw so many people suffer and die prematurely because insurance companies wouldn’t pay for the care they needed. I have Medicare and it works. It should be open to everyone.”
Advocates say that not only would a Medicare-for-All system cover everyone, it would also save the country $400 billion a year in health spending. While Medicare spends only 3% on administrative costs, private health insurance companies spend 17-28%, including profits, marketing, and extravagant CEO salaries.
Another one of the dancing grannies, Joan Pleune, says: “Rehearsing for this choreographed dance is harder than getting arrested during the Freedom Rides of 1961.” The veteran of the Civil Rights Movement adds, “But my health is threatened and I need Washington to pay attention—expand, not cut, Medicare!”
Laurie Wen, Healthcare-NOW! NYC,
Katie Robbins, Healthcare-NOW! http://www.healthcare-now.org