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ANA Nurses Stand With Obama in Calling for Healthcare Reform Now

Nation's 'Most Trusted Profession' Adds to Momentum at White House Event

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Nurses Association (ANA) members joined President Obama today at a White House press conference, sending a strong message to Congress that the country no longer can wait to reform health care as rising costs threaten the financial stability of families and their ability to access health care services.

In citing significant progress this week on health reform proposals in both the House and Senate and his pledge to "get this done," the president referred to the nation's 2.9 million nurses as a group that knows what must be done and how to get things moving in the right direction -- whether it's with their patients or policymakers who need a nudge.

ANA has long advocated for reforms that would result in guaranteed, affordable, high-quality health care for all, and views the recent progress on Capitol Hill as steps toward that goal. Along with President Obama, ANA believes that health reform legislation should include a public health insurance plan option to provide broader choice for patients, increase affordability, foster marketplace competition and ensure access to services.

"As a nation, we cannot continue in good conscience to allow families to go bankrupt or people to suffer with health problems unnecessarily because they can't afford treatment, are denied health care, and lack basic coverage or private insurance," said ANA President Rebecca M. Patton, MSN, RN, CNOR, who appeared with President Obama. "Along with private insurance market reforms, the choice of a public health insurance plan option would provide millions of individuals and families what they want most -- access to affordable health care when they need it."

President Obama invited registered nurses -- rated as the nation's most trusted profession for seven consecutive years in Gallup's annual survey of professions -- to the Rose Garden to bolster his case for swift action on health reform.

"Nurses aren't in health care to get rich; they're in it to care for us from the time they bring new life into this world to the moment they ease the pain of those who pass from it. If it weren't for nurses, many Americans in underserved and rural areas would have no access to health care at all. And that's why it's safe to say few understand why we have to pass reform as intimately as our nation's nurses. They see firsthand the heartbreaking cost of our health care crisis. They hear the same stories I've heard across this country -- of treatment deferred or coverage denied by insurance companies; of insurance premiums and prescriptions that are so expensive they consume a family's entire budget ... And they understand that this is a problem that we can no longer defer," President Obama said.

ANA encourages its members to contact their representatives in Congress to urge action on health care reform this year and support for the public health insurance plan option.

For more information on ANA's positions on healthcare reform, see:

The ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 2.9 million registered nurses through its 51 constituent member nurses associations and its 24 specialty nursing and workforce advocacy affiliate organizations that currently connect to ANA as affiliates. The ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.

SOURCE American Nurses Association
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