September 11th First Responders Lead Emotional Rally at State Capitol Tuesday

Wednesday, September 12, 2007 General News
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OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 11 Two 9-11 rescueworkers featured in Michael Moore's Sicko will lead a delegation of severalhundred registered nurses to the State Capitol for a rally in support of thekind of guaranteed healthcare they desperately needed after their heroicrescue efforts -- but were denied by a healthcare system that focuses more onthe profits of insurance companies than on the needs of patients. They willbe joined in their plea by other patients featured in Sicko who werevictimized by the for-profit insurance industry.

The rally comes on the heels of efforts in the California legislature onbehalf of a flawed healthcare bill, AB 8, which is expected to be vetoed byGovernor Schwarzenegger. That will set the stage for a special session inwhich Speaker Nunez and his allies are expected endorse a deal with theGovernor for a bill that moves even further away from the dream of allCalifornians for guaranteed healthcare for all.

Monday morning more than 1,000 members of the California NursesAssociation/National Nurses Organizing Committee and other friends stormed theCapitol to urge legislators not to support the backroom deal. With the rally,the RNs, joined by the heroic rescue workers and Physicians for a NationalHealth Program, will continue to press the case for a reform plan, such as animproved Medicare for all, that brings an end to insurance industryprofiteering and denial of care.

Among the many problems with AB 8 is that it pushes more people intoinsurance plans without any controls on skyrocketing costs at a time whenpremiums have soared 87% this decade and tens of millions of Americans facebankruptcy due to rising health costs -- or simply choose not to use the carethey have to pay for. AB 8 also would lock millions of Californians intosubstandard plans with no minimum standards, and permits insurance companiesto continue to deny coverage to the sickest Californians.

The day will open with a panel of nurses from Canada, Great Britain, andAustralia telling the CNA/NNOC House of Delegates at the Convention Center thereal story about single-payer or national healthcare systems in theircountries, describing the kind of healthcare system that Americans andCalifornians could have with the enactment of HR 676 in Congress or SB 840 inCalifornia.

CNA/NNOC represents 75,000 RNs in all 50 states, and is a leader in thenational campaign for genuine healthcare reform as embodied in HR 676 inCongress, and a pioneer in winning legislative patient protections andcollective bargaining contracts that have set new standards for nurses acrossthe nation. For more information about CNA/NNOC, see, September 11 -- International RN panel on Guaranteed Healthcare, 10 a.m., Exhibit Hall B -- September 11th Responders Lead 12:30 Capitol Rally for Healthcare-West Steps

SOURCE California Nurses Association

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