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National Health Care Call-in Day: Thousands urge Congress to vote yes before recess

Posted By Clarksville Online News Staff On Tuesday, July 28, 2009 @ 8:54 pm In Politics | 2 Comments

Tennesseans tell their representatives health care reform cannot wait

healthcareforamericanowNashvilleHealth Care for America Now [1] (HCAN), the nation’s largest health care campaign, mobilized its members on Tuesday July 28th to tell Congress to vote yes on H.R. 3200, America’s Affordable Health Choices Act, before the August recess. Constituents are reaching out to say health care reform cannot wait, and Congress should help President Obama pass health care reform that will make quality health care more affordable and give everyone the choice of a public health insurance option.

“This is an historic moment, and we hope our representatives will be on the right side of history,” said Georgia Weindling from Health Care for America Now. “When the House health care bill passes, we will be one step closer to achieving quality, affordable health care for everyone this year. Every day Congress postpones is another day families and businesses struggle. Members should stay put in D.C. until they vote ‘yes’ and get the job done.”

Health Care for America Now is particularly concerned that after reform, health care will be truly affordable. While the vast majority of Democratic members of Congress are fighting to make health care affordable for families and businesses, they face opposition from all the Republicans and a minority of Blue Dog Democrats. Right now, some Blue Dogs are threatening to make health care more expensive, instead of placing a surcharge on the wealthiest 1% of taxpayers – families who earn more than $350,000 a year.

“Members of Congress intent on watering down affordability provisions or diminishing the strength of the public health insurance option in the House health care bill are clearly not on the side of the middle class,” said Georgia Weindling. “It’s not fair for Republicans and a minority of Blue Dog Democrats to leave middle class families on their own to purchase insurance costing more than three times what Members of Congress pay. Families at all income levels are struggling to afford health care premiums and out -of- pocket fees. We expect Members of Congress to support regular folks, not protect the interests of insurance companies and the very wealthy.”

A nurse’s unique perspective on health care reform


Sharon Adkins MSN RN, the Executive Director of the Tennessee Nurses Association

Nurses provide a unique perspective on our country’s health care system. As the largest group of health care professionals, they experience firsthand the system’s successes and failures as they come in contact with individuals who benefit from our most sophisticated services and individuals who suffer from the system’s inefficiencies and lack of access to care.

Health care reform is not a new idea. In 1991, the American Nurses Association and 41 specialty nursing associations came together to develop “Nursing’s Agenda for Health Care Reform.” That plan, now 18 years old, calls for a restructured health care system that would provide accessible, affordable, quality health care for all. And yes, it called for a federally-defined public plan of essential health care services available to all citizens and residents of the United States.

A high-quality public insurance plan option will help make health care more affordable for patients, generate needed competition in the insurance market, and guarantee the availability of quality, affordable coverage for individuals and families no matter what happens.

Will this cost money? Of course, but the cost of doing nothing is even greater. We currently spend $2.4 trillion (that’s with a “T”) on health care every year. $1 trillion, over the next 10 years, represents a 4 percent spending increase in order to produce massive changes to the health care system…changes which will ultimately lead to significant health care savings, improved quality of care, and coverage for millions who currently go without.

Health care reform may be costly, but so is taking no action. The cost is not only in dollars, but in human lives. Doing nothing is not an option.

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