Regarding Allegheny County Council's approval of over $1 billion in bonds for UPMC ("County Approves $1 Billion in Bonds for UPMC"):
I was one of more than 30 people testifying at Allegheny County Council's Dec. 15 meeting against the automatic refinancing of bonds for UPMC. All of us let County Council know that UPMC has an obligation, as a nonprofit entity, to put the health and well-being of the people of the Mon Valley before profits and to keep UPMC Braddock hospital open. About 100 people in all were present to send this message, with signs floating across the aisles saying "No Bonds."
And yet, of those 12 council members present for the vote, only one - Jim Ellenbogen - had the decency to represent the will of the people, stand up to UPMC and vote down the bond issue.
Meanwhile, less than a handful of men in suits from UPMC sat calmly and quietly together on the far side of the room. They didn't need to speak that day. The deal was in. They got their way.
It is a long road to health-care justice in this country, and the people - not the corporations - will lead the way.
The writer is president/co-chair of the Western Pennsylvania Coalition for Single-Payer Healthcare (www.WPaSinglePayer.org) and a member of Save Our Community Hospitals (www.savebraddock.com).