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Michael Moore Defends 9/11 Rescue Workers and Criticizes Insurance Industry on California Nurses Association Press Call
Date:2/26/2008

Sen. Clinton Defends Healthcare Plan Built on Extending Customers and

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OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Filmmaker Michael Moore participated in a press conference call today organized by the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee that reunited struggling patients from the movie SiCKO, including Reggie Cervantes, a 9/11 rescue worker; Donna Smith, who has recently joined CNA/NNOC as a healthcare organizer; and Julie Pierce, whose husband Tracy died when her insurer denied his necessary treatments as "experimental."

Moore took the opportunity during the call to criticize health care reform plans built on extending the private insurance industry, including those offered by Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Of the two, Clinton's plan also includes a call for an "individual mandate," which would require every American to purchase private, for-profit health insurance products, no matter their quality or cost -- a top lobbying priority of insurance corporations, who see it as an opportunity for government to guarantee their profits. Moore criticized both Clinton and Obama for not supporting a single payer system, such as those that exist in every other industrialized democracy, and argued, "I think in their hearts, they want to get it. But it's not just their hearts that's speaking, it's their wallets."

In reaction to Moore's criticism of the plan, Clinton campaign spokesman Jay Carson told The Hill newspaper, "His movie notwithstanding, Michael Moore clearly doesn't know a whole lot about how healthcare policy works."

Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA/NNOC, noted on the call that, "Compulsory insurance purchase is not healthcare and will do nothing to solve our healthcare crisis. Two-thirds of Americans say they're ready to move to a single payer, 'Medicare for All' system and now it's time to force the politicians to listen to them." Referring to Obama's comment that he would support single payer healthcare "if we were starting from scratch," DeMoro added, "the patients from SiCKO and America's nurses can attest to the fact that we are starting from scratch with today's healthcare crisis."

SiCKO patient Reggie Cervantes, a 9/11 first responder, talked of her struggles with obtaining health care for problems associated with her rescue work, and criticized a recent federal government decision to cut 77 percent of the funding for health care for 9/11 workers. She announced a protest rally to draw attention to the cuts in Washington, DC Tuesday, February 26.


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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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