COVID-19 has levied a heavy toll on the health of our country over the past year, particularly for communities of color. Some of the challenges in managing the pandemic are because of our reliance on a private insurance system, which impacts access and costs of care. But poor outcomes, high costs, and lack of access are caused or exacerbated by a problem that policymakers could begin to address today—unchecked monopoly power.
Long before the pandemic, from hospitals to Big Pharma to medical supplies, the extreme market power of large corporations that put profits over people hurt patients, health care workers, and communities. If we don’t break these giants up, these monopolies will continue using their power to limit access to care and create medical deserts, while raising costs, lowering quality of care, and abusing health care workers.
On March 30 at 2:00 p.m. ET, Economic Liberties, People’s Action, Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), and leading experts and advocates discussed why we need leaders at all levels of government to fight corporate health care monopolies to make our health care system more equitable and resilient. This was the second event in our Break ‘Em Up: Redistributing Power to the People series, which highlighted how progressives can organize around anti-monopoly fights to advance economic and racial justice. The first focused on how to center worker rights in corporate power fights.
Sarah Miller,Executive Director, American Economic Liberties Project
Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01), member of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Reform Committees
2:15pm – Panel 1: How Health Care Monopolies Worsened the Impact of COVID-19
Jean Ross, RN, President, National Nurses United
Abdul El Sayed, Physician, Epidemiologist, Former City Health Commissioner, Progressive Activist, Author of The Incision and Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide and host of the podcast “America Dissected.”
Zephyr Teachout,Professor, Fordham Law School and author of Break ‘Em Up: Recovering Our Freedom from Big Ag, Big Tech, and Big Money
Moderated by Morgan Harper, Senior Advisor, American Economic Liberties Project
2:45pm – Panel 2: Solutions to Tackle Monopoly Power in the Health Care Industry
Lisa Frank, Executive Vice President and Director of Strategic Campaigns, SEIU PA
Olivia Webb, Senior Policy Analyst, American Economic Liberties Project
Mike Bowen, Executive Vice President, Prestige Ameritech
Moderated by George Goehl, Director, People’s Action
Morgan Harper, Senior Advisor, American Economic Liberties Project
Additional Resources from Economic Liberties:
Courage to Learn: Health Care, American Economic Liberties Project
Acute Condition, newsletter by Economic Liberties’ Olivia Webb
About the “Break ‘Em Up” Series:
Economic Liberties and People’s Action’s “Break ‘Em Up!” series brings together a diverse range of progressive voices to share information about the ways unchecked corporate power is hurting workers, small businesses, communities, and our democracy. Watch our previous event on taking on monopolies to strengthen worker power, featuring Senator Bernie Sanders, here.