“Health Care for Profit, Not for People!” “Let Them Eat Advil.” “Fear, Lies, Sedition! Pre-Existing-Condition!”

Echoing through the streets of Washington on Saturday, the chants of a new political formation are sweeping the nation: The Billionaires for Wealthcare!

On Saturday 9/12, tens of thousands of conservative activists marched in Washington in opposition to big government and the Obama health care plan. Inspired by right-wing Fox News pundit Glenn Beck and funded and organized by Freedom Works, the organization directed by former congressman Dick Armey, the march was a much-hyped follow-up to anti-tax rallies on April 15th.

Among the marchers were the satirical Billionaires for Wealthcare, a self-described “grassroots network of health insurance CEOs, HMO lobbyists, talk-show hosts, and others profiting off our broken health care system.” They joined the march to “thank the teabaggers for protecting health-care industry profits.”

The Billionaires motto is: “If we’re not broke, don’t fix it.”

“For the last decade, health-care costs have been moving in the right direction: up!” said Phil T. Rich, one of the Billionaires. “And with no competition, we raise raises as often and as high as we like – 29 percent in some case – simply because, well, we can.”

Tea-baggers eagerly joined in on Billionaire chants of “Bring Back Bush!” and “Fight Socialism! Abolish Medicare Now!”, but the greatest crowd pleaser (and provoker) of the day, was a stirring rendition of their original song “Let’s Save the Status Quo” sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, and memorably captured in this music video:

The Billionaires’comically over-the-top signs — including: “Do No Harm…to Our Bottom Line” and “CIGNA / PALIN IN 2012!” — blended in easily with genuine wing-nut signs such as “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy,” distributed by the anti-abortion American Life League.

Starting over the summer, Billionaires chapters began springing up around the country. Billionaires showed up at several health care Town Hall meetings in Phoenix, Reno, Raleigh-Durham, St. Louis and other cities to cheer on the Tea Baggers and Glen Beck supporters in preserving the health care status quo.

San Diego billionaires arrived in a limousine to “join” protests against Democratic Congresswoman Susan Davis at her town hall meeting on health care reform.

There are now over 40 Billionaires for Wealthcare chapters across the country and more starting up everyday. Join the one in your city, or download everything you need to start your own at www.BillionairesForWealthcare.com.

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and chair of the Working Group on Extreme Inequality, an emerging coalition of religious, business, labor and civic groups concerned about the wealth gap.

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