Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Health Care:Nurses arrested for "voluntary efforts"

Tue May 12, 2009 12:07 pm (PDT)

Institute for Public Accuracy
915 National Press Building, Washington, D.C. 20045
(202) 347-0020 * http://www.accuracy.org * ipa@accuracy.org

Rose Ann DeMoro is president of the National Nurses Organizing
Committee/California Nurses Association. Idelson and Preston are
spokespersons for NNOC/CNA, which just released a statement: "Registered
nurses, physicians and healthcare activists delivered an emphatic
protest before the Senate Finance Committee for its failure to open
discussion on healthcare reform to nurses, doctors and other advocates
of single-payer, guaranteed healthcare for all, while continuing to
provide a red carpet to big insurance companies and other healthcare
industry interests.

"Five were arrested -- two RNs, members of the National Nurses
Organizing Committee/California Nurses Association, two physicians,
members of Physicians for a National Health Program, and a patient
activist with PNHP and Health Care Now -- after vocally challenging the
committee for what they called a stacked process against real debate.

"Marking the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, some
40 other RNs staged a silent protest -- standing before the committee in
red nursing scrubs and turning their backs to show signs [critical of]
America's Health Insurance Plans, the private insurance industry lobby
arm that is given a regular voice by the Committee, chaired by Sen. Max
Baucus, which is in the forefront of discussion on a health plan.

"What a disgrace that RNs and physicians are shut out and arrested
while the insurance industry is given a seat at the table. We would
expect that from the Bush administration, not in the time of the Obama
administration. ... Tuesday morning's protest was also the kickoff of
two national days of actions by RNs from across the U.S., coinciding
with National Nurses Week."

ELLEN SHAFFER, ershaffer@gmail.com, http://ellenshaffer.blogspot.com
Shaffer is co-director of the Center for Policy Analysis, focusing
on health policy. She said today: "Even the Republican Party is ready to
'throw the health insurance industry under the bus,' according to
strategist Frank Luntz -- while taking every opportunity to block all
reform proposals.
"To avert genuine cost control, the industry is promising to
voluntarily hold down prices, per a letter from the America's Health
Insurance Plans, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
America; as well as the AMA, the Hospital Association, the Advanced
Medical Technology Association, and the Service Employees International
Union. Voluntary efforts have been effective in the past at staving off
real health reform, but each time have failed to truly reduce costs. ...
"But the Congressional Budget Office has testified that it will not
give much credit to these proposals for savings on costs."

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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