Last week, Health Care for America Now rallied with health care reform supporters from across the political spectrum - from doctors to union members to single payer activists - and tried to present Karen Ignagni, CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry lobby, with an award for "Best Protector of Profits at the Expense of Our Health."
Needless to say, Ignagni was either too scared or too flattered to accept this prestigious award in person. That's alright, though. We'll follow her around the country and make sure she has ample opportunity to receive it. Check out the video:
However, we thought it might be nice for Ignagni to receive an even more high-profile and coveted award: Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" award.
So, we've created a petition to ask Olbermann to bestow this honor on Ignagni. Our petition reads:
Keith Olbermann, you unfailingly shine a light on evil doers in this world with your "Worst Person in the World" award on your show "Countdown" on MSNBC. You unflinchingly call out those who lie, cheat or steal, those who put their personal gain over the common good. Your award brings more truth and justice to politics by calling out those who do wrong. With that in mind, we have a perfect nominee for you!Here's some reasons why Karen Ignagni deserves your "Worst Person in the World" award:
Keith, please bestow on Karen Ignagni the great honor of being your "Worst Person in the World." She is deeply deserving.
- Ignagni has been lying to the American people for months. She's been traveling around the country saying the health insurance industry is working for real reform in good faith. However, AHIP has already come out against the heart of Obama's health care plan, the public health insurance option
- AHIP has a history of bargaining in bad faith. AHIP's predecessor organization ran the "Harry and Louise" ads that killed Bill Clinton's health care reform efforts. They have spent $7 million on lobbying for their business interests in 2006, and will spend many times more than that this year.
- While someone goes bankrupt in this country every 30 seconds due to medical costs, Ignagni has presided over a huge increase in insurance industry profits and has been rewarded for her protection of those profits with $1.4 million in compensation this year alone.
- Ignagni used to work for the AFL-CIO, the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Finance Committee, and the Department of Health and Human Services. She is intimately familiar with the failings of our private-only health care system, and yet she has chosen personal profit over public good. She should know better.
So far, we've got almost 5,000 signatures in just a few days. We're going to deliver our petition directly to Olbermann this week, but we want to break 5,000. So, dear readers, can you sign the petition and pass it along to your friends?
Wouldn't it be great to see Ignagni's face on Olbermann? Really, there are few people more deserving of this award. Help make it happen!
(also posted at the NOW! blog)