March 29, 2010 – Press release – Act Up-Paris, Ensemble pour une santé solidaire
We are HIV-positive, poor, homosexuals, transgendered, prostitutes, drug-users, immigrants, and prisoners. We have been fighting against the policies of Sarkozy for their severity and for their consequences on the health care system and the access to our rights and our care for the past 8 years. This is why we denounce the speech – a speech of obscene hypocrisy – of the President of the Republic at Columbia University.
To “support” Obama’s reform on health coverage, the French President chose to give the United States a lesson. Surprised by the intensity of the debate that has taken place in the United States over free medical coverage, Sarkozy dealt the U.S. a blow by saying that “this problem was solved in Europe 50 years ago.”
What Sarkozy forgot to say was that in the past 8 years, since he has been in power in France as a Minister or as President, there has been no stop to the dismantling of the health care access that was fought for and won “50 years ago” just as intensely. The government’s destructive efforts have included :
– The dismantling of Social Security through the establishment of the fixed price of one euro (a system in which doctor’s visits are reimbursed except for 1 euro) and medical deductibles, the constant increase of the fixed rates for hospitals, and the systematic charges for medications and medical care ;
– The breakdown of the health care system: the reduction of hospital beds and the discontinuation of HIV services, local hospitals, maternity hospitals, abortion centers, etc. ;
– The increased suppression of prostitutes, immigrants, drug users and prisoners, which deprives these populations of their rights and of their access to testing and prevention programs and health care.
Sarkozy denounces the ‘intensity’ of the American debates regarding health care.
We denounce the intensity that Sarkozy exercises towards us when he estimates that we cost too much and when he introduces economic measures on our lives, all while granting 15 billion euro per year of fiscal gifts to the richest homes.
Without glorifying the reforms of Obama, we declare that Sarkozy is destroying in France what Obama is trying to construct in the United States.
Act Up-Paris also recalls that Obama and Sarkozy have broken their promises to insure universal access to treatments for AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and condemn the sick people of the poorest countries to die.