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Nurses to Congress: Expanding Medicare Could Reverse Job Losses, and Repair Our Broken Healthcare System and Safety Net
Date:1/28/2009

Dramatic New Study Presented in Congressional Briefing Today

OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- On a day in which Congress prepared to vote on the Obama administration's proposed $800 billion economic stimulus package, the nation's largest organization of registered nurses said expanding Medicare to cover all Americans would be one of the most effective economic recovery programs - and could virtually end the nation's healthcare crisis overnight.

In a briefing for some 50 key Congressional staffers, the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today presented the findings of a dramatic new study that documents that extending Medicare to everyone would create 2.6 million new jobs, and infuse $317 billion in new business and public revenues and another $100 billion in wages into the U.S. economy.

Adding all Americans to an expanded Medicare system could be achieved for $63 billion beyond the current $2.1 trillion in direct healthcare spending. The $63 billion is far less than the federal bailout for CitiGroup, and less than half the federal bailout for AIG. Solely expanding Medicare to cover all uninsured Americans could be accomplished for $44 billion, the study shows.

The study, which may be viewed at www.CalNurses.org, was presented as part of a briefing in the Rayburn House Office Building hosted by the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Healthcare, a coalition of nurses, doctors, students, large community-based membership groups, labor unions, religious organizations, and activists who support HR 676, a single-payer, Medicare-for-all bill, soon to be reintroduced.

"Nurses see the broken system at the bedside, but we also know that a single-payer system would help the economy recover and would free people from staying in jobs they do not like just to keep employer benefits," said
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SOURCE California Nurses Association
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