4th Annual Universal Health Care Conference Meets in Denver

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Posted Tue, Jul 16, 2019

DENVER, June 29th, 2019/ Metro Post Telegraph/ — The fourth annual conference held by the Colorado Foundation for Universal Health Care gathered support at the Pipefitters Union Hall on Saturday to discuss the importance of bringing a single-payer healthcare system to Colorado.

“We see around 120 participants to the event each year,” said Sara Wright, director of communications for the foundation. Healthcare professionals, small business owners and members of the Denver community currently on Medicare, represented the majority of those in attendance.

Executive Director of Co-operate Colorado Lyn Gullette (left) and former Colorado State Senator Jeanne Nicholson (right) [Photo: Darral Freund]

Amongst the most noteworthy-organizers of the event was former Colorado state senator, Jeanne Nicholson. Many of the participants in attendance had long since graduated, but Nicholson discussed the importance of getting the next generation of voters engaged with the cause. “I want to involve students in a conversation about upcoming issues in healthcare,” Nicholson said.

The keynote speaker of the event, Wendell Potter, former corporate head of communications at Cigna, and best-selling author, shared his insights from his years on the HMO side of the healthcare debate. Potter described becoming disillusioned with his position of protecting profits within the healthcare industry.

“A lot of the money that you spend on healthcare is converted to propaganda in the form of salaries for people like me, PR practitioners,” Potter said. After witnessing firsthand the hardships faced by families fighting to get money from their insurance companies, Potter committed his efforts toward promoting the need for universal healthcare across the country. “I came to realize that I was doing the exact opposite of what I learned as a journalist,” Potter said.

Keynote Speaker Wendell Potter.
[Photo: Darral Freund]

Potter points to the profitability of the current system as one of the main hurtles to providing healthcare for all.  “The way things are really work for insurance companies,” Potter said, “The money spent by special interests is the biggest road block.”

Potter remained hopeful that the future will bring new possibilities, “Change is inevitable, it’s a matter of when, not if.”

The master of ceremonies for the event, T.R. Reid, shared his frustration with the current state of healthcare during his address. “Taking a look at healthcare in America is depressing,” Reid said. “A decent, wealthy, society ought to provide healthcare to everyone.”

After showing the audience statistics on the current cost of the national healthcare system, Reid asked, “Here’s the question, when we spend $3.4 trillion on healthcare, are we getting something worth that?”

Reid informed listeners that the U.S. ranks last in saving people from curable diseases. “We don’t need incremental change. We need something different.”

To round out the event, participants were sent to individualized breakout sessions to take a closer look at the fight for universal healthcare in Colorado. The topics of the sessions ranged from upcoming legislative steps to self-care for activists.

Keynote Speaker Wendell Potter and Master of Ceremonies T.R. Reid.
[Photo: Darral Freund]

This event marks a continued effort from one of the many grassroots organizations across the United States committed making healthcare available to all.

T.R. Reid’s remarks embodied the sentiment of the event. “The current system is not sustainable, and we will continue to fight, because healthcare is a human right.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to “4th Annual Universal Health Care Conference Meets in Denver”

  1. Autumn Schwinn Says:

    This is a great article! I really enjoyed the detail and quotes.

    Reply

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