The Medicare For All Rally, held Monday evening on the Valparaiso Courthouse square drew over 100 people from Porter County and Northwest Indiana.
The event was organized in partnership with Hoosier Women on the March, Progressives in Action Northwest Indiana, the Community Strategy Group, NWI NOW, and Blue Valpo.
The rally’s main message was that healthcare should be a human right, not a privilege in the United States.
Speakers included Reverend Cheryl Rivera with the Community Strategy Group, Rick Stark with Progressives in Action NWI, Elaine Coffey, a retired professor with Hoosier Women on the March, Julie Storbeck with NWI NOW, Terry Steagall, union member with USW 1010, and Candace Shaw with Blue Valpo.
The group gathered on the north side of the square and heard speakers. Passing motorists honked their horns in support.
Attendees also marched around the courthouse square in conjunction with others across the country in support of “Medicare for All.” Chants included “Medicare for All, “Healthcare is a human right,” “This is what Democracy looks like,” and “This is what Diversity looks like.”
Terry Steagall announced that the Steelworker’s Local 1010 has passed a resolution supporting H.R. 676, the Medicare for All Act, which is co-sponsored by NWI Congressman Peter Visclosky.
“The solution for healthcare is Medicare for All, if you really want to solve it,” said Steagall. “Medicare for All covers the elderly, pre-medicare retirees in the gap without coverage, Veterans not receiving their benefits, the homeless, the unemployed, the working poor, children, students in college, local, state and federal government, small employers and large employers, with a cost effective, fair fee schedule for doctors and hospitals.”
The profit motive in healthcare would also be addressed, Steagall said. “ We need to be willing to fight the lobbyists working for the pharmaceutical and insurance industries that are using their unfair influence to control Congress to keep a dysfunctional healthcare system. A simple example is the price gouging on epi pens that went from $100 to $600.”
“Our healthcare system is under threat by an administration that wants to cut Medicaid by 35 percent over the next 20 years, causing 23 million people to lose their health coverage by 2026. Across the country, Americans have begun to stand up and speak out about this attempt to destroy our humanity when we need the most help,” said Candace Shaw.
“We are a collective of everyday Americans, taking the streets to demand that access to quality care be expanded to all people regardless of income. We chant “healthcare is a human right” as we change the 'business as usual' mentality that holds our health and well-being captive to a healthcare model that places profits over people,” she added.