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Nurses Union Targets Congressional Healthcare Leaders in New Ad Drive

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Just received this from California Nurses:

Nurse Blog Ads Demand Congress Protect Patients with Single-Payer Reform

The National Nurses Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association (NNOC/CNA), the nation's largest RN union and professional association, today announces a national online advertising campaign beginning this week that calls on key Congressional leaders to protect the public – not the profit motives of the insurance industry – through a system of guaranteed, single-payer healthcare reform. The ads are also sponsored by the Massachusetts Nurses Association. View the blog ad, the first phase of the campaign, www.CalNurses.org.

The ads ask supporters of reform to send a message to Sens. Max Baucus and Ted Kennedy and Reps. Henry Waxman, George Miller, and Charlie Rangel—each of whom chairs key committees with oversight on healthcare reform—urging them to support the “nurses’ plan” for guaranteed healthcare, as reflected in HR 676 by Rep. John Conyers and S. 703 by Sen. Bernie Sanders, which would expand and update Medicare to cover everyone.

A major barrier to comprehensive reform, the ads emphasize, is healthcare industry contributions which nurses say influence the decision by some to craft proposals that cater to the whims and financial interests of the insurers. And, they say, nurses have had enough.

“We all know the incredible financial and lobbying resources that health insurance and pharmaceutical companies bring to the table in Washington,” said Malinda Markowitz, RN, co-President of NNOC/CNA, “but every voter is also a patient who deserves reform that will protect our families and heal our nation. Healthcare reform is too important to let the insurance industry once again corrupt the democratic process that nurses and patients are relying upon.”

The campaign will continue through May 13, when hundreds of nurses from around the country will mark Nurses Week with a march and rally in Washington urging guaranteed healthcare and major patient safety improvements. The blog ads will run on national and local websites.

This effort is part of a national campaign that has seen thousands gather in recent weeks outside the six White House Forums on Healthcare to demand the single-payer, Medicare-for-all approach be at least a central part of the national debate on major reform. National systems, such as proposed in HR 676 and S. 703 are flourishing in every other industrialized democracy -- the main reason why the U.S. lags far behind other nations in key healthcare barometers though it spends more than twice as much per capita than all other countries.

A single-payer system, says NNOC/CNA, is the most effective reform to assure universal coverage, choice of doctor, and real cost controls that will end the financial and healthcare insecurity faced by American families and American businesses.

Under a single-payer system, patients choose from among competing doctors and hospitals, which are paid from a universal, non profit health coverage fund, with no co-pays and deductibles, real cost controls that eliminate waste and fraud, and comprehensive benefits for less than we and our employers pay now.

Single-payer reform would also promote economic recovery by creating 2.6 million net jobs and more than $300 billion in new business and public revenues, according to a January study by the Institute for Health and Socio-economic Policy, the CNA/NNOC research arm.

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