SPAN Ohio’s statewide Healthcare Justice Walks attracts dozens of participants for Lakewood event

LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Medicare for all advocates were front and center at the May 22 Single Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPAN Ohio)’s event in Lakewood.

Roughly 35 people walked from Kauffman Park east on Detroit Avenue pushing for healthcare changes and solutions.

Participating in the local event was Midwest Regional Outreach and Communications Lead for Combat COVID Laura Rodriguez-Carbone, who is currently a Lakewood City Council-at-Large candidate.

“Saturday’s event here in Lakewood, as well as all across the state, highlighted how immensely important healthcare still is to everyday people,” Rodriguez-Carbone said. “The past year has been rough for the entire community, but this is a good reminder that we’re still very much in the middle of a global pandemic and public health emergency. It has hit working people and people of color especially hard.

“The consensus from the attendees at this event was clear — every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the healthcare they need regardless of their income, age, race or ethnicity. There is still so much to do to ensure a good quality of life for working people — prioritizing public health and access to care is a big part of how we do that.”

Taking place all over the state, SPAN-based walks act as fundraisers while spreading awareness of the issues.

Single Payer Action Network of Ohio (SPAN Ohio) held an awareness event May 22 in Lakewood. (Photo courtesy of SPAN Ohio)

“Walking in public areas carrying banners and signs, we did get a lot of horn honking,” said SPAN Ohio Regional Coordinator Ted Seuss, who calls Brecksville home. “We also did have a lot of individual conversations with people on that walk.

“They stopped individuals wanting to know what it is, what’s going on, who we are and what we do.”

SPAN Ohio’s next event is the Improved & Expanded Medicare for All/Single Payer Universal Health Care Rally, taking place July 10 at Edgewater State Park in Cleveland.

“The message is that we’re the only developed nation in the world that does not provide healthcare to its citizens,” Seuss said. “We’re the only nation in the world that has a for-profit healthcare system. So we’re working in the state of Ohio — along with about 20 other states — on getting a single-payer healthcare system here in Ohio.

“We work on that two ways — directly with people who represent us in Columbus and with the public raising awareness. In between the two, hopefully we’ll get some change here in Ohio against the money interests of the pharmaceutical companies.”

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