June 23, 2021 — On Saturday, June 24, at 11:00 a.m., universal healthcare advocates from across Wisconsin will gather in Red Arrow Park, at 920 North Water Street in Milwaukee, to march for Medicare for All, national legislation that will provide free health care at point of service for all Americans. This will allow the United States to join the rest of the world in recognizing free, universal health care as a human right. The COVID-19 pandemic caused nearly 15 million people to lose their employer-based health insurance and has killed over half a million people in the US, with studies suggesting that at least 40% of those deaths could have been prevented if we had a true universal healthcare system like Medicare for All.
Marchers are demanding that national legislators support and pass current legislation HR 1976, introduced by Representative Jayapal of Washington, and S 1229, introduced by Senator Sanders of Vermont. The marchers are also demanding that President Biden use powers he has right now during the ongoing COVID-19 health emergency, under Section 1881A of the Social Security Act, to enact Medicare for All across the country based on the population’s environmental exposure to hazardous conditions.
Luz Sosa, a Milwaukee-based economics instructor and community activist, will speak after the march. According to Sosa, “It is time to see Medicare for All as an investment in human life and not as a mere expense. It will not only save money, it will save lives.”
After starting from Red Arrow Park, marchers will head through the streets of Milwaukee, returning to Red Arrow Park. The march will include stops at the offices of Republican Party US Senator Ron Johnson and Democratic Party US Representative Gwen Moore. Physician Dr. Gillian Battino and Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson, who will vie to challenge Johnson in the 2022 US Senate race, will speak at Johnson’s office on his and his party’s refusal to support health care for Americans. According to Nelson, “I’m so gratified by this nationwide movement to demand we pass Medicare for All. We need to finally join the rest of the industrialized world in making sure every citizen has access to healthcare and doesn’t have to worry about going bankrupt if they get sick. It should be remembered that Senator Ron Johnson said the only reason he wanted to run for office is because he despised Obamacare.” At Moore’s office, marchers will demand that she join the 112 members of the House in her own party who already support HR 1976.
Other scheduled speakers include State Assembly Representative Francesca Hong of Madison, Representative Hong’s Chief of Staff and 2020 State Senate candidate Nada Elmikashfi, Our Wisconsin Revolution Southeast Regional Organizer Andre Walton, Medicare for All organizer Ashley Hudson of Madison, Cole Ford of Real Progressives, and Sophie Scholl of Socialist Alternative Milwaukee.
The march is sponsored by Movement for a People’s Party, Our Wisconsin Revolution, Food Not Bombs, Socialist Alternative Milwaukee, and Progressive Democrats of America Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee march is one of over fifty held in cities across the country on Saturday under the national movement March for Medicare for All, at https://www.m4m4all.org.