Billionaires for Wealthcare
Billionaires for Wealthcare are a political Guerrilla theatre and culture jamming group that is satirically opposed to U.S. President Barack Obama's attempts at healthcare reform in the United States. Their real goal is to further the cause of reform by publicly mocking the Tea Party movement and various other protesters against the president's proposed plan.
|The Coat of Arms of the Billionaires for Wealthcare (Note the Caduceus designed to resemble the US dollar symbol, the green to further represent money or wealth and the shield as a reference to Blue Cross and Blue Shield.)|
Much like the earlier Billionaires for Bush, its members arrive at events (both pro and anti reform) in phony limousines wearing fancy attire (tuxedos, top hats, evening gowns, pearls etc.) and address one another by pseudonyms such as "Phil T. Rich", "Z. Roe Compassion" and "Frida Market". They carry signs with slogans such as Let Them Eat Advil, Do not Harm Our Bottom Line and If We Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It! (the latter also being the group's official motto). Their chants include: Walk. It. Off., Wealthcare, Not Healthcare! and Your pain, our gain. Their repertoire also includes songs with satirically modified lyrics set to well known tunes such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic  and We Shall Overcome .
They are always friendly and polite to reform opponents, making sure to thank them profusely for fighting to protect their supposed fortunes. Likewise they adopt a polite but faux taunting posture towards pro reform advocates. Often these tactics create confusion, with reform opponents returning their friendly gestures and supporters responding angrily back.
Activities, growth and media coverage
The Billionaires were started in the summer of 2009 by Chase Foster. They currently have chapters in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The BFW have been featured or mentioned in numerous media outlets, both mainstream and underground. On October 23, 2009, at the final day of the Washington DC conference of America's Health Insurance Plans, an insurance industry advocacy group, BFW members interrupted a speech by Republican pollster Bill McInturff, with a version of the song Tomorrow from the musical Annie, featuring lyrics modified to mock those opposed to the public option , ,. This happened to include most everyone attending the conference. The BFW members continued to sing as they were escorted out by security.
- The BFW's homepage
- Phoenix New Times
- Daily Kos
- The Rachel Maddow Show
- Bill Moyers
- The Huffington Post
- Sean Hannity (Starting at 5:25)
- "About". Billionaires for Wealthcare. 2009-09-12. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "SIGNS". Billionaires for Wealthcare. 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Be A Billionaire". Billionaires for Wealthcare. 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "Chapters". Billionaires for Wealthcare. 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2009-10-24.
- "PRESS". Billionaires for Wealthcare. Retrieved 2009-10-24.