Single Payer Action Confronts UnitedHealth, Cisco Execs

It was a beautiful day in Washington, D.C. today.

And UnitedHealth, the nation’s largest insurance corporation, decided it would hold an outdoor press conference to announce an alliance with Cisco Systems Inc. to “expand physicians’ reach into both rural and other underserved areas and to help mitigate disparities in health care delivery.”

We happened upon the press conference on the grounds of the U.S. Botanic Garden.

With the U.S. Congress — which the UnitedHealth and the health insurance industry dominate and control — in the background.

And there were the UnitedHealth and Cisco executives, lined up, rolling out their public relations to a bank of television cameras.

So, we went up to the executives and demanded to know — why are putting your millions in executive compensation and corporate profits above the interests of the American people?

Why are you opposed to single payer national health insurance?

Because it would put you out of business?

Dr. Reed Tuckson — executive vice president and chief of medical affairs at UnitedHealth Group –  said he was embarrassed by the “disruption” by Single Payer Action.

Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action said he was “embarrassed by the fact that the 60 Americans die every day from lack of health insurance.”

And that the health insurance industry is putting its profits and its executive salaries above the interests of the American people.

Mokhiber asked UnitedHealth public relations vice president Don Nathan how much the CEO of UnitedHealth makes every year.

“It’s publicly disclosed every year,” Nathan told Mokhiber. “How much do you make?”

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