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Nurses, Healthcare Workers Launch Massive Drive to Inform 1 Million Caregivers in Key States on Obama and McCain Healthcare Plans
Date:9/24/2008

Unique volunteer effort by union and nonunion caregivers blends online phone-bank technology and in-person outreach to reach primarily female workforce

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With women voters poised to play a pivotal role in the presidential election, a unique project of SEIU Healthcare will reach at least 1 million healthcare employees -- a largely female workforce -- through worker-to-worker communication on the candidates' views on healthcare issues.

The outreach will focus on high-performing voters who are primarily RNs, LPNs, and other licensed caregivers who work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities in 13 battleground states.

Independent polling conducted for the effort has shown that 84 percent of the workers are women and that information on Barack Obama's and John McCain's healthcare records and plans produced an 18-point increase in support for Senator Obama.

"People are struggling in this economy already, and then you find out that John McCain will tax your health benefits and put your current coverage at risk," said Anna Burger, Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. "It's an eye-opener."

SEIU Healthcare's movement for healthcare reform - called Healthcare United (http://www.healthcareunited.org) - has brought thousands of healthcare workers nationwide who are not members of the union together with current members to volunteer in the huge voter education effort.

Outreach is focused in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, and Wisconsin. Workers are using a variety of technologies and means -- including the ability to make calls from home using the web site -- to spread information on the candidates' healthcare views. The campaign will also inform caregivers through house parties, door-to-door canvassing, community forums, and a national online campaign.

"Alot of nurses like me are really interested to learn that Senator Obama has a record on helping to improve nurse staffing in hospitals," said Merna Brostoff, RN of Healthcare United in Albuquerque, New Mexico. "When you work in healthcare every day, this information is critical to evaluating the candidates."

Healthcare United's candidate comparison is available at http://www.healthcareunited.org.

Paid for by SEIU COPE, http://www.seiucope.org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


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SOURCE Service Employees International Union
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