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Posted at 3:33 PM ET, 03/ 9/2010

Health care protesters head to the Ritz

By Washington Post editors

Protesters marched through downtown Washington Tuesday to criticize the health insurance industry in an attempt to draw up support for the Democratic proposal to overhaul the health-care system.

Organizers with Health Care for America Now, a coalition of labor and other liberal groups, targeted insurance company leaders attending a policy conference held by industry advocates at the Ritz-Carlton hotel at 22nd and M Street NW. Reinforcing recent criticism of increasing health premiums by the Obama administration, the demonstrators marched to the hotel to make a mock “citizens’ arrest” of insurance executives.

“We need to get this healthcare plan done today ..... There are too many people in the United States hurting,” said Betty Lauray, 60, who traveled down from New Jersey with Grassroots 4 Change, an advocacy group supporting an overhaul of the health care system.


Organizers of the protest said they brought about 5,000 people from across the United States to downtown Washington. They began their march in Dupont Circle, where they heard speeches from politicians and activists. Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean cheered on demonstrators earlier in the morning.

“We deserve a vote ..... This is a vote about one thing — are you for the insurance companies or for the American people?”

The protests comes as President Obama makes a final push for passage of a health-care reform package.

There was a minor skirmish between police and protesters when some tried to gain access to a parking tunnel next to the hotel. But after a small group was allowed to deliver “citizen arrest warrants” to America’s Health Insurance plan, the lobbying group hosting the conference.

-- Nicole Norfleet

By Washington Post editors  | March 9, 2010; 3:33 PM ET
 
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Comments

ITS ABOUT TIME. MAKE SOME NOICE.

Posted by: gregorysherard | March 9, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Health Care Insurance Companies are basically middlemen who's time has past. They do nothing but double the cost of health care in this country.

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 9, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

The insurance companies only care about the all-mighty dollar. They don't give a rip about anyone's health! I'm glad Obama is fighting them - don't listen to the Rethuglicans. . reform has to happen. I have health insurance and I'm tired of some bean counter turning down treatment my husband's doctor is pursuing. This is out of hand!

Posted by: GenuineRisk | March 9, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I wonder how many of those people marching would rather have a job with their existing health care than their HCR bill with no job?

Posted by: asdf9876 | March 9, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Why isn't this front-page news, please do tell...

Posted by: lilpixiefig@aol.com | March 9, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the other side is finally getting heard on Health Care. Listening to the Republican / Tea Klux Klan crap was nothing but unnecessary and irrational noise.

Posted by: rkayblock1 | March 9, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

5,000 warm bodies...and only six had to take off from work.

Bwahahahahahahaha!

- - - - - - - - -

"...irrational noise..." ?

Get used to it or get some ear plugs! We ain't going away!

Posted by: sosueme1 | March 9, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Get used to it or get some ear plugs! We ain't going away!

----------------------

Or going to work either, apparently

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Posted by: loveshoppingus | March 9, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes, as someone has already asked, why isn't there a news story about this in the main part of the paper? A "Citizens' Arrest" of nefarious insurance industry insiders, spending our premium money on lobbying to kill health reform instead of to provide primised care, should be front page news.

And this Blog version as of 8:50 pm ET is garbled at the end; the last paragraph makes no sense.

Posted by: Student_Of_Irony | March 9, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

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