Medical students to hold national day of action for ‘improved Medicare for All’ on Halloween

Citing medicine’s enormous potential to fight against disease and death, medical students say Americans continue to be ‘haunted’ and harmed by health care profiteers; ‘Let’s treat our patients, not trick them with private insurance!’

Contact: Mark Almberg, PNHP communications director, (312) 782-6006,
Student contacts for each of the actions are available to media professionals upon request.

This Monday (Oct. 31), on Halloween, hundreds of medical and health professional students from more than 30 campuses in 15 states across the nation will hold demonstrations, rallies, lobby visits, call-ins, letter-writing sessions, teach-ins and poster displays to call on elected officials and candidates to act swiftly to replace the private health insurance industry with an expanded and improved Medicare for All. Some students will don white coats or costumes.

Their message: “Private health insurance is a trick – we just want to treat our patients.”

Note: A partial list of the participating campuses appears below.

The national day of action, dubbed #TreatNotTrick, is being organized by Students for a National Health Program (SNaHP), a branch of Physicians for a National Health Program, and is supported by other student organizations such as the American Medical Student Association, The Latino Medical Student Association, White Coats 4 Black Lives, and the California Health Professional Student Alliance.

Organizers say #TreatNotTrick will be an opportunity to put pressure on candidates to include improved Medicare-for-all, or “single payer” health insurance, in their platform just one week prior to the November elections.

Problems under our private-insurance-based system continue to mount with 29 million people uninsured, a comparable number underinsured, rising copays and premiums, and narrowing networks, all of which constitute harmful barriers to care, they say.

Recently, the mega-insurer Aetna backed out of the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace exchanges in 11 states, significantly reducing access to care in several portions of the country. Other insurers did the same. Shortly after, there was public outcry over a 600 percent price surge of the life-saving EpiPen by big pharmaceutical company Mylan.

The students say there is a better way to provide care for everyone while also controlling costs: Improve and expand the existing Medicare program to cover all medically necessary services, and enroll everyone from the day they are born. They point to legislation in Congress, H.R. 676, sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and co-sponsored by 62 other lawmakers, that would establish such a system.

Students say that affordable, accessible health care for everyone is only possible with a single-payer program. They add that not only do the majority of Americans want it, but the current system will buckle without it.

List of #TreatNotTrick participating schools and events

Questions about specific #TreatNotTrick events can be directed to and the contacts listed above.

Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University / Cooper Medical School of Rowan University / Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
Rally at vigil, 6 p.m., Philadelphia City Hall

The Commonwealth Medical College

Weill Cornell School of Medicine
Patient testimonials exhibiting the deficits of the health care system
Olin Hall--Olin Lounge / Weill Education Building--Archibold Student Lounge
Photo ID required to visit campus buildings, from 10/31 through 11/3

New York Metro Region
NYC Village Halloween Parade + Petitioning for New York Health Act
Oct. 31, 7-9 p.m., Sixth Avenue at Canal

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

New York Medical College

Boston University School of Medicine
Demonstration and call-in, Oct. 31, 3 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Talbot Green

Harvard Medical School

Tufts University School of Medicine

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Pritzker School of Medicine - University of Chicago

Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

Rush Medical College & Rush College of Nursing

Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University

Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Lobby visit to Sen. Sherrod Brown

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Meeting with Mike Stinziano of the Columbus City Council

University of Minnesota Medical School

Mayo Medical School

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison

University of Louisville School of Medicine
Rally with student and physician speakers + Petition for H.R. 676 support in KY
U of L Health Science Campus Quad
500 South Preston btw Muhammad Ali Blvd and East Chestnut St., Oct. 31, 12 p.m.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine - A. T. Still University

East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine

Emory University School of Medicine

University of South Alabama College of Medicine

University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

University of Texas Health Science Center

Touro University California - College of Osteopathic Medicine

The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

Ross University School of Medicine

Physicians for a National Health Program is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization founded in 1987. It includes physicians and medical students in every state and medical specialty. For local physician contacts or other information, contact PNHP's headquarters in Chicago at (312) 782-6006, or write to Mark Almberg, communications director, at