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Nurses Launch Major Ohio Radio Ad Campaign Telling Candidates: Stop Selling Insurance and Back Real Reform
Date:2/28/2008

Activist Nurses Union to Run Ads in Heavy Rotation Through Primary

OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- On the eve of Ohio's crucial primary vote Tuesday, the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association today launched a major radio campaign across Ohio with an emphatic message to the presidential candidates to stop selling private insurance policies and support real healthcare reform.

The 60-second radio ad is running in markets across the state, including Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Lima, Toledo, and Youngstown.

Criticizing "individual mandates" that require people to purchase insurance -- a major focus of the debate on healthcare among the Democratic presidential candidates -- the nurses say that mandating private insurance is not "universal healthcare," especially while the insurance giants "can still charge as much as they want and still deny you care when you are sick."

The role of government, the nurses' ad says, should be to "protect us from insurance companies, not force us to buy insurance products."

Nurses know the problem with insurance-based care, the ad notes. They regularly "witness lives lost, care denied, families ruined by big insurance corporations. Nurses know there is only one real cure for our broken health care system. We ask the candidates to commit to the highest standard of quality care through Medicare for all Americans. That's the real reform that puts decision-making power where it belongs -- with you, your nurses, and your doctors."

A challenge to the candidates to support real reform

"Nurses see America's healthcare crisis up close everyday," said Michelle Mahon, a Cleveland area RN. "Our ability to provide safe, effective, therapeutic care is undermined and our professional responsibility as patient advocates is compromised by insurance companies. Ohio nurses believe that the answer to our healthcare crisis is a Medicare for all, single payer plan, that will guarantee quality care to everyone."

"We hope to remind Ohio voters of the suffering that nurses witness. We see patients who have been abandoned or abused by the very insurance companies that some think are the solution to our national healthcare crisis. And we hope that voters will ask the candidates of both parties, why are you proposing more insurance, rather than more care?" said Deborah Burger, RN, member of the NNOC/CNA Council of Presidents.

NNOC/CNA has been in the forefront of the campaign to transform the nation's broken healthcare system to a guaranteed healthcare program as exists in other industrialized nations and could be achieved in the U.S. through an expanded and improved Medicare for all. In the past year, CNA has also run TV and print ads in Iowa prior to its caucuses, in New Hampshire prior to its primary, and in national publications.

Several of the ads featured the headlines about the health problems of Vice President Dick Cheney with the headline "If he were anyone else, he'd probably be dead by now," with a call that all Americans should receive the same level and standard of care available to Cheney and members of Congress. In response to that ad, tens of thousands have signed an online petition, and more than 800 people have sent in horror stories of their own experiences with insurance companies.

Additionally, NNOC/CNA led opposition to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's individual-mandate proposal in California which was subsequently rejected by the California Senate, despite a major campaign for it by a number of politicians, policy wonks, and most of the state's major insurance companies.

Last year, NNOC/CNA also sponsored events outside hundreds of theaters across the U.S. when Michael Moore's SiCKO, an indictment of the healthcare industry, opened. Subsequently, NNOC/CNA members hosted hundreds of local showings of the film and other events to promote guaranteed healthcare reform.

NNOC/CNA represents 80,000 direct-care nurses in all 50 states. To learn more, visit http://www.CalNurses.org or http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org.

Text of the ad:

"In denial"

Nurses and consumer advocates agree. The government should be protecting us from insurance companies, not forcing us to buy their products. Especially while insurance companies can still charge as much as they want and still deny you care when you are sick.

So why are politicians still calling for mandates? Forcing people to buy health insurance isn't universal healthcare. It just means more profits for the big insurers.

Registered nurses value every patient they touch. They witness lives lost, care denied, families ruined by big insurance corporations. Nurses know there is only one real cure for our broken healthcare system. We ask the candidates to commit to the highest standard of quality care through Medicare for all Americans. That's the real reform that puts decision-making power where it belongs -- with you, your nurses, and your doctors.

Paid for by the National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association.


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SOURCE National Nurses Organizing Committee/California NursesAssociation
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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