New York, NY – Oct 26 – Activists from and allies of Occupy Wall Street will be marching to St. Vincent’s Hospital today to highlight the greed and corruption that lead to the hospital’s devastating closure in 2010. St. Vincent’s was a Catholic-run hospital, which had a charity mission to serve the under-insured and uninsured. St. Vincent’s lacked the corporate clout to negotiate fair reimbursement rates from profit-driven insurance companies, leading to financial instability. Moreover, the short-term focus of the highly-paid executives and consultants pushed St. Vincent’s into bankruptcy – leading to a public health emergency: there is now no hospital on the Westside below 57th Street. Two months ago, The New York Post reported that the Manhattan District Attorney was investigating whether hospital executives intentionally let St. Vincent’s fail, so that the Rudin Management Company could buy the hospital’s real estate as part of a controversial luxury condominium development project. (1) Rudin paid pennies on the dollar to buy the hospital’s real estate, and Rudin now stands to sell luxury condominiums and townhouses, once constructed, that are expected to have a combined fair-market value of over $1 billion.
“People can’t get the healthcare they need when they need it, precisely because of the corporate desire for making profits by denying healthcare coverage and access to sick patients,” states Dr. Elizabeth Rosenthal of Physicians for a National Health Program. “I have a health insurance plan with a $15,000 deductible. My family rations care all the time because we can’t afford the out-of-pockets costs,” explains Katie Robbins, supporter of Occupy Wall Street and member of Healthcare-NOW! NYC. “We have to get Wall Street out of our healthcare system.” Anger towards the Wall Street-controlled healthcare system inspired today’s march, which is set to also target Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield and WellCare. The march was initiated by a working group of Occupy Wall Street called Healthcare for the 99%, which is composed of healthcare workers and people who seek to end inequality in our healthcare system and our society. ### (1) http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/da_eyes_st_vinny_go_for_broke_plan_fvDtudcbAWyxqqiQnhbzaI WHEN: Wednesday, October 26, 3pm - 7pm WHERE: Starting at Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park), Broadway and Cedar MARCH DETAILS: http://owshealthcare.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/march-route-map.pdf Assemble 3pm at Liberty Square (corner of Bway and Cedar), Speak-out at 4pm 4:15pm – Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield / One Liberty Plaza ARRIVE 5:30pm - WellCare / 110 5th Ave 6pm – St Vincent’s Community Hospital / 12th St & 7th Ave