Nurses Welcome President's Call for Comprehensive Health Reform
February 26, 2009
The nation’s largest organization of registered nurses today praised President Obama’s call for “comprehensive” healthcare reform in his speech to Congress Tuesday night, but emphasized that only genuine reform, as in expanding Medicare to cover everyone, will actually solve the crisis — and rein in the skyrocketing costs that the president noted are bankrupting Americans and costing jobs.
“After the past dismal eight years, it could not be more gratifying to hear a President emphasize the need for comprehensive action on healthcare, and recognize the growing crisis felt by American families,” said Malinda Markowitz, RN, co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee.
“But we cannot repair our broken and dysfunctional system, and bring our families the health and financial security they need without taking on the insurance giants which created and perpetuate the crisis by pricing people out of access to care, or bankrupting them if they attempt to use it.”
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“Only one reform, Medicare for all, effectively controls costs at the source, by eliminating the stranglehold of the insurance giants and the price gouging we see in ever-rising premiums, co-pays, deductibles, and other daily costs that have caused so much harm to so many.
“Unfortunately, far too many in Washington continue to seek methods that merely extend the stranglehold of private insurers,” Markowitz said.
A new report just out today from the Institute of Medicine reaffirms the problem, Markowitz noted. Average premiums for family coverage have soared by 119 percent the past decade – three and a half times the growth of family incomes.