In the drizzly early afternoon of October 4, a crowd of about 50 people gathered outside the San Diego County Administration building, where the “Mad as Hell Doctors” held a rally. The Oregon-based group formed in 2009 with the goal “to take the message of Single Payer to the masses through education, advocacy, and entertainment,” according to their website.
The Mad as Hell Doctors are in the middle of a California tour promoting the “single-payer” approach to universal health care as the “compassionate and fiscally responsible choice.”
The rally included speeches from group members as well as local retired and practicing physicians. Among them was local physician Dr. Sunny Smith, who said, “There’s nothing in the Hippocratic Oath that says, ‘I will take care of you…if you pay me.’”
Members of the crowd were encouraged to go onstage and state why they are “mad as hell” in 60 seconds or less. Among them was a woman who used to work in the county building. She pointed at it and said, “Have you noticed what it says up there? ‘The noblest motive is the public good.’”
Crowd members were given sheets of protest lyrics that were sung along to the tune of two well-known songs; words to the tune of Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are a Changin’” began, “Come gather 'round people wherever you roam, and admit that it’s time for health-care reform”; “This Land Is Your Land” was titled “This Plan Is Your Plan.” The rally lasted approximately one and a half hours.