The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246 or Ken Zinn, (202) 297-4976

Nurses: Senate Bid to Repeal ACA Should Be Signal to Democrats to Push for Real Reform

Polls a Reminder, What Public Supports is Medicare for All


National Nurses United today said while it continues to oppose Senate Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Democrats should acknowledge concerns about ACA shortcomings as a signal to push for real, transformative reform, an improved and expanded Medicare for all.

"Every Republican bill pushed first in the House and now the Senate is a disaster that would punish tens of millions of Americans with higher healthcare costs and lack of coverage," said NNU Co-President Jean Ross, RN.

"But no one should let Democrats off the hook here," Ross continued. "When Democrats controlled the White House, Senate, and House, they chose to ignore a more fundamental solution to our broken health care system."

"Instead of enacting a system that would guarantee healthcare for all, as is done around the world, they opted instead for important, but limited reforms that failed to control escalating out of pocket costs, left 28 million without health coverage, and left themselves vulnerable to this Republican crusade to exacerbate what for far too many is an ongoing healthcare crisis," said Ross.

Ross noted a report today, for example, on the eve of the Senate vote, in the New York Times about a for-profit company hospitals contract to provide emergency room services that exploits the out of network loophole in the ACA to impose huge, unexpected costs billed to patients. As one patient told the Times: "Now I'm going to have to pay this bill off, and I can't afford to see a doctor about my high blood pressure medication."

"Nurses see similar patients all the time, who can't pay the inflated costs for life saving medications, or critical treatment urged by their doctor. Just because the Republicans are pushing a plan that is far worse, doesn't mean that millions don't continue to face a daily crisis today with their health. Democrats need to seize the moment and lead the way for the systemic change we need, Medicare for all," Ross said.

The public is ready for the most far-reaching public protection, as polls have repeatedly shown, said. Ross. A poll just last week by the Associated Press and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 62 percent of public believes it is "the federal government's responsibility to make sure that all Americans have health care coverage."

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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