The nurses noted there is a long road ahead for the amendment. It will still need approval from the full House and in a final version from the Senate. Nurses and other healthcare and community activists made numerous calls to legislators in support of the amendment, and will continue to press for its enactment in the final bill.
For those who have opposed the proposal, DeMoro called it "a very modest amendment that simply protects choice for residents of individual states who favor more comprehensive reform."
Recent reports from both the Department of Health and Human Services and the prestigious medical journal Health Affairs have documented that compared to people with private insurance, Medicare enrollees have greater access to care, fewer problems with medical bills, and greater satisfaction with their health plans and the quality of care they receive.
The reason for improved access, quality, and lower costs under Medicare, said DeMoro, "is that under Medicare, insurance companies, whose central focus is profits for their shareholders not delivery of care, don't have the ability to deny care, limit coverage, or continually raise prices that endanger the health and financial security of patients."
"The successes and standards of Medicare should be the model for reform for all Americans," said DeMoro. "If the final national bill will not meet that test by establishing Medicare for all, then let's give Americans the tools to pass it in individual states."
Currently, if states were to pass single-payer laws, as California, for one, has twice, only to have the bill vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, it could be subject to immediate legal challenge due to the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which applies to all employer-paid health plans. The Kucinich amendment
|SOURCE California Nurses Association|
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