Public Option Should Be Access to the Congressional Plan, But Best Solution Is to Expand Medicare to Cover Everyone

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Chuck Idelson, +1-415-559-8991 or Shum Preston, +1-415-412-0825, both for CNA/NNOC

Public Option Should Be Access to the Congressional Plan, But Best Solution Is to Expand Medicare to Cover Everyone

OAKLAND, Calif. - The nation's largest union and

professional association of registered nurses tonight welcomed the renewed

call by President Obama for comprehensive healthcare reform.

"But sadly, the President's prescription for reform still falls short of the

full reform that is needed to solve our ever escalating healthcare crisis,"

said Deborah Burger, RN, co-President of the 86,000-member California Nurses

Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.

"The President made a renewed call for a public option, but a public option

should at least be a 'Congressional option' at least as good as the benefits

Congress members get.

"The biggest problem with his approach, however, is not the public option,

it's the private option. Private insurers are the principal cause of

skyrocketing healthcare costs, and the disgraceful denials of care for people

with insurance.

"Nothing in this plan will end insurance denials - and insurance companies are

denying nearly one-fourth of all claims in California alone, according to data

the insurers themselves report to the state.

"Second, we heard again pledges to end the health insecurity faced by so many

American families; yet the promise of effective cost controls remains elusive.

Insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles will continue to skyrocket with

little in this plan to end their price gouging practices.

"President Obama said tonight 'We are the only advanced democracy on Earth -

the only wealthy nation - that allows such hardships for millions of its

people.' That's true. The reason is that all those other countries have a

national healthcare system, such as our Medicare program, and don't barter

human lives for profit. Ultimately that is the most effective way to actually

guarantee healthcare for all Americans, control costs, and improve quality.

That would be the change we could all believe in."

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National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.

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