Closely associated with the Missouri/Kansas club of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), Margarida Jorge is the National Field Director of Health Care for America Now (HCAN), which advocates in favor of a socialized medical system in the United States. In April 2009 Jorge was the keynote speaker at a St. Louis event sponsored by People’s Weekly World, the CPUSA newspaper.
Before joining HCAN, Jorge served as director of Americans for Health Care, a Service Employees International Union (SEIU) project that pushed, like HCAN, for the implementation of a government-run medical system. She also worked on the political campaigns of various leftist candidates, the promotion of legislation on the state level, and state ballot-initiative campaigns.
Prior to her stint with SEIU, Jorge spent nearly a decade as an organizer of low-income health-care workers in the South and the Midwest.
In the summer of 2009, Jorge published a “playbook” of tactics designed to help supporters of socialized medicine neutralize the impact made by any protesters who might attend healthcare town-hall meetings moderated by Democrat Members of Congress. This publication characterized such protesters as “angry mobs” of “far right-wing ideologues recruited by paid organizers” like insurance “industry lobbyists and public relations firms.” “Their goal,” said the handbook, “is to stop President [Barack] Obama, influence the media, and scare members of Congress into thinking that there is more [public] resistance to health care reform than really exists.” The book further accused such protesters of using “tactics and rhetoric” replete with “anti-tax, anti-abortion, anti-immigration” themes that “resonate with the farthest right wing of their [Republican] party.” Moreover, the book advised supporters of socialized medicine to adopt the following specific strategies for minimizing the visibility and influence of the protesters:
- “You must bring enough people to drown them [the protesters] out.”
- “Arrive earlier than the other side does: we need to stack our folks in the front to create a wall around the Member [of Congress].”
- “When the other side gets too loud, we should shut them down with chants that counter their message like ‘Health Care Can’t Wait!’ and ‘Health Care Delayed Is Health Care Denied!'”
- “Another way to limit protesters’ ability to hijack your event is to confiscate signs or leaflets that they may bring into the venue from outside. The best way to do this is to make a blanket rule that no one can bring signs or leaflets …You can distribute your own signs in the event and offer them one as they enter if you choose to allow them to enter.”
- “It’s important that you take away right wingers’ opportunities to talk with reporters by making sure that your staff or leaders are in constant contact with the media who attend.”