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Nation's RNs on the Healthcare Summit: Insurance-Based Reform Will Fail, and Undermine Public Trust, Only Medicare for All Can Achieve Administration's Goals
Date:3/3/2009

WASHINGTON, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- On the eve of President Obama's healthcare summit Thursday, the nation's largest organization of registered nurses said today that expanding and updating Medicare to cover everyone is the most cost-effective and comprehensive approach to achieving the goals and principles outlined by the president in his recent address to Congress and budget proposal.

While welcoming President Obama's call for achieving "comprehensive" healthcare reform this year, "a laudable commitment and a huge departure from the dismal healthcare policies of the past eight years," the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee warned that most of proposals floating around Congress would default on the promise and principles set by the administration.

"And, they would almost certainly fail to contain the rising costs that put so many families in peril or to repair our broken healthcare system," said CNA/NNOC Co-president Geri Jenkins, RN.

"That's the reason the majority of the nation's nurses and doctors -- the very people who have the most daily interaction with our healthcare system and see its failures and tragedies up front, favor a single-payer approach, or expanding Medicare to all.

"To achieve the lasting and cost-effective reform the president seeks and most Americans desire, we must confront the source of the present crisis -- an insurance industry that has been steadily pricing people out of access to care, or bankrupting them if they attempt to use it," Jenkins said. "Insurance company practices drive skyrocketing costs, a problem that won't be solved by more technology, electronic medical records, or any other stopgap measures some propose."

Jenkins welcomed the principles outlined by the administration for reform, and the call for progressive tax changes to help finance them, but warned that any reform "premised on expanding a
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SOURCE California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee
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