The week of September 16th, in three sites across Pennsylvania, Put People First! PA Healthcare Rights Committees (HRCs) and sibling organizations in the PA Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival took to the streets to make the invisible visible and target healthcare profiteers. Every September, PPF-PA has a Week of Action in the lead up to the Statewide Membership Assembly. This year, we had Medicaid Marches in Johnstown, Lancaster and Philadelphia. The “Medicaid March” centers people who are on, need or are excluded from Medicaid in the fight to achieve healthcare as a universal human right for all people. The first Medicaid March took place earlier this year in Vermont, and we thank the Vermont Workers Center for giving us the inspiration!
The Medicaid Marchers called for:
- No added hurdles or cuts to Medicaid
- Full dental coverage under Medicaid
- A Public Healthcare Advocate for PA to fight for people’s – not companies – healthcare rights and
- A local demand based on the profiteers and conditions most affecting the area.
This year, we had over 150 marchers and the most statewide press coverage we’ve received since our Public Hearing victory in 2016. We gave out hundreds of flyers and recruited many new numbers to Put People First! PA’s Nonviolent Medicaid Army.
Johnstown Medicaid March
My reflection from Medicaid March was marching to conemaugh hospital to help and get our points across that we don’t want cuts to Medicaid, we need a Public Healthcare Advocate, that we deserve healthcare, we need to have it, it’s a human right and if we don’t have it we will all die.
It felt awesome and inspiring to be apart of the March. My role during the March was to get our points across through sharing my families healthcare stories.
I connected with a lot of people during the march, I was grateful for that and it was very uplifting to me.
-Laycee Norton, Johnstown HRC, PPF-PA
I am so excited to share a reflection from our New HRC from MonValley regarding the Medicaid March in Johnstown.
Carol , Jackie, Debbie and myself road together and Louie and King were present as well. We turned out in great numbers with high enthusiasm ready to march through Johnstown to be seen and connect with the community.
This was truly a great time. PPF-PA members shared personal stories in the park. We had our PPF-PA shirts…we had the noise of the drums and our loud voices throughout the streets of Johnstown, Pa. I felt the support from people who beeped horns and flashed headlights at us while we marched. We also had the nursing staff in the windows of the hospital give us the thumbs up.
I felt a great sense of leadership when it was time to organize people from the MonValley HRC to be present and to express the importance of solidarity in PPF-PA.
To be honest I believe many were new and it took great initiative to make a great presence, we were ready to engage with others and share with them the fight of the Non-Violent Medicaid Army!!!
I got a few signatures from people who want a Public Healthcare Advocate (PHA) for the people of Pennsylvania. A PHA is someone that could stand up for us and assure we can get our medical needs met.
Truly a success!!!💥💥💥
Denyne, MonValley HRC, PPF-PA