For Immediate Release
Nurses Look Forward to House Budget Committee Hearing on Medicare for All
WASHINGTON - National Nurses United RN Presidents Jean Ross, Zenei Cortez, and Deborah Burger released the following on today’s House Budget Committee hearing on Medicare for All:
“We are pleased to see the House Budget Committee hold a hearing on Medicare for All -- another step towards passing this vital piece of legislation. Last month’s hearing on the Medicare for All Act in the House Rules Committee offered patients like activist Ady Barkan, and health care providers like Dr. Farzon Nahvi and Dr. Doris Browne, the opportunity to share with the public their own heartbreaking experiences with our health care system -- experiences that are all too familiar to us nurses, who witness every day the heavy toll our current for-profit health care system takes on our patients. The Congressional Budget Office’s report on Medicare for All shows that a Medicare for All system can be designed and implemented in the United States in a way where every man, woman and child can have guaranteed, safe, therapeutic health care and that the country can save trillions of dollars in the process. By using a progressive financing mechanism and eliminating all private insurance premiums, deductibles, and copayments, the vast majority of people will save money while getting the care that they need.
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“In advance of the hearing, 209 economists have signed a public statement supporting Medicare for All, calling the current health care system ‘exorbitant and wasteful’ and asserting that now is the time ‘to create a universal, single-payer, Medicare for All health care system in the United States.’ This aligns with economic analyses by the Mercatus Center and the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, which have projected that Medicare for All would reduce total national health care costs by hundreds of billions of dollars each year while simultaneously guaranteeing quality health care for every person in the United States. The question is not whether the country can afford Medicare for All; the question is what will we do with all of the money we have saved by implementing this system?
“Nurses are proud to support the Medicare for All Act and will continue to build the grassroots movement for genuine health care justice so that everyone can have quality, therapeutic health care. We agree with Chairman Yarmuth that ‘it is no longer a matter of if we will have a single-payer health care system in our country, but when.’ With 45,000 people dying every year in this country for lack of health insurance, and tens of millions being denied care due to financial barriers, there is an urgency that Congress move immediately to pass the Medicare for All Act. Our patients’ lives depend on it.”
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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.