National Nurses Union Outlines Goals For Society Healthcare Post
Registered nurses from across the U.S. took to the National Nurses United convention Oct.12-14 to pass resolutions for society in light of the pandemic: a society based on care focusing on workers rights, Medicare for All, global health and vaccine equity, and racial and gender justice, according to an Oct. 15 release from the union.
Five key takeaways:
- The union called for greater investment in and public oversight of national PPE stockpiles.
- It proposed a campaign against profit-driven healthcare restructuring and permanent life-threatening crisis of care standards.
- It called for supporting legislative, legal, and collective efforts to end gender pay disparities.
- The union called for elimination of all health disparities based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, where one lives, or immigration status
- Members declared racism and white supremacy to be public health crises.
Resolutions Call For Consistent Ppe And Staffing Levels Better Organization And Medicare For All
byRyan Basen, Enterprise & Investigative Writer, MedPage Today October 20, 2021
Deep into a pandemic that has drained, harmed, and even killed many of their workforce, a national nurses union is resolving to start fighting back.
National Nurses United drafted resolutions calling for Medicare for All, safer staffing and personal protective equipment levels at medical centers, and stronger nurse organization and resistance, at a virtual convention last week.
“Hospital policies put us in a desperate state during the pandemic,” NNU President Deborah Burger, RN, told MedPage Today.
“Hospitals took full advantage of this pandemic crisis. Everything they wanted to do to degrade care, deregulate care,” they did, aiming to now accustom patients to these lower care standards, she said.
NNU, representing 175,000 nurses, issues resolutions every 3 years, but members felt more urgency and used more forceful language concerning some issues this year.
Members want to ensure that future pandemics and the remainder of the current one are handled scientifically — not politically, Burger said. “Most nurses, until this pandemic, most of them did .” But politicization has changed that for many. “Nurses are concerned because it’s really affecting their workplace,” she said.
She cited hospitals conducting elective surgeries despite overflowing patient loads now and hiding N95 masks early in the pandemic as evidence.
Rns Lead Massive Grassroots Campaign To Push Passage Of Legislation
National Nurses United applauds the introduction of the Medicare for All Act of 2021, introduced by Representative Pramila Jayapal and Representative Debbie Dingell , and co-sponsored by more than half of the House Democratic Caucus including 14 committee chairs and key leadership Members.
The pandemic has highlighted in deadly detail what nurses have known for decades: Our current health care system, based on private insurance tied to employment, is a colossal failure and leaves far too many of our patients to suffer and die unnecessarily, said Bonnie Castillo, RN and executive director of National Nurses United. We thank Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Rep. Debbie Dingell for their leadership in guaranteeing health care is a human right. While we mourn the more than 500,000 lives lost to Covid, we rededicate ourselves to the fight to ensure that everyone is provided with high-quality health care regardless of where they live, how much money they make, or their health, immigration, or employment status. Nurses will never rest until we get this done.
WHAT: Town hall to mark introduction of Medicare For All Act of 2021WHEN:
This event will be livestreamed on
Speakers will include: Rep. Pramila Jayapal Rep. Debbie Dingell Bonnie Castillo, RN, Executive Director, NNU
Medicare for All Act of 2021 highlights include:
The majority of Americans support Medicare for All and support continues to grow.
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National Nurses United Readies New Medicare For All Push
OAKLAND, Calif.National Nurses United is gearing up for a new drive to enact Medicare For All, but its organizers realize the campaign may take a while. Not only does the union face the moneyed opposition of the insurance and hospital lobbies, but it must overcome a not-that attitude from Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
Nevertheless, the union will forge ahead with the drive. It again argues universal government-run health care is the least costly, most patient-friendly alternative to the U.S. health care non-system that features out-of-control hospital profits over people, union President Zenei Cortez, RN, says.
That system also produces insurers denial of care and for-profit hospitals refusal to protect workers even in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. And NNU documented record hospital profits and enormous ratios between hospital charges and actual costs of care in a report released Nov. 17. Its at www.nationalnursesunited.org.
NNU has long been organized labors single strongest advocate of government-run single-payer Medicare For All, eliminating the health insurers and their lobby, their overhead, their high premiums, deductibles, and co-paysand the high unnecessary death toll their denial of care produces.
Nurses Applaud Reintroduction Of Senate Medicare For All Legislation
Nurses across the country applaud the reintroduction of Medicare for All legislation in the U.S. Senate. National Nurses United , the nations largest union and professional organization for registered nurses, has long supported Medicare for All because health care is a human right.
NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN, testified at a Senate Budget Committee hearing on May 12 that Covid-19s impacts on health care are evidence that Medicare for All is necessary now more than ever. The hearing was chaired by Senator Bernie Sanders , who also introduced the new Medicare for All Senate bill today. Sanders is joined by 14 Senate colleagues as cosponsors.
For more than two years, nurses across the country have worked on the front lines of the Covid pandemic. We have cared for patients despite atrocious working conditions, Castillo said at Thursdays hearing. If it was ever in doubt before, this pandemic has shown that our current profit-driven and fragmented health care system does not work. It does not provide quality, therapeutic care to millions of Americans. It does not value and protect its own health care workers. And it is unable to provide a comprehensive pandemic response.
As registered nurses, our primary responsibility is to protect the health and well-being of our patients, Castillo told the Senate Budget Committee. Medicare for All is the solution we need to ensure that every patient gets the health care they need.
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Nurses Union Lobbies Congress On Health Care Bills During National Nurses Week
Members of National Nurses United are lobbying lawmakers on multiple pieces of legislation concerning nurses and patients as part of National Nurses Week.
The union, which represents more than 170,000 registered nurses, aims to gain support for several bills by virtually meeting with scores of congressional members to promote health care priorities.
Over days of lobbying, hundreds of these nurses are expected to advocate for bills such as the Medicare for All Act proposed by Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Debbie Dingell , which would establish a national Medicare for All program.
The nurses union also will request the White House to finish reviewing and adopt an Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergency Temporary Standard designed to protect nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
National Nurses United called on the White House to put the standard into effect by May 12, which is the final day of National Nurses Week and International Nurses Day.
National Nurses Week officially began on Thursday and continues next week.
Other legislation the registered nurses are pushing for include a bill that would create an OSHA standard for workplace violence protection for health care and social workers and another that develops required nurse-to-patient ratios to prevent understaffing.
The nurses will also promote the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, the Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act and the VA Employee Fairness Act.
Today Wednsday Feb 27 At : 00 Pm Est
WashingtonOn Wednesday February 27th at 3:00 PM,representatives from the National Nurses United will host a press conference call on how they plan to cultivate support for the Medicare for All Act of 2019 legislation being introduced tomorrow by Rep. Pramila Jayapal with backing from more than 100 members of Congress.
The call will feature Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of National Nurses United, Holly Miller, National Director of Community and Public Advocacy, National Nurses United, along with Diane Archer, Founder and President of JustCare USA and former President of the Medicare Rights Center. The call will unveil the advocacy campaign being waged to support Medicare for All legislation and the coordinated effort to ensure that Medicare for All becomes law.
WHAT: Press Conference Call To Launch Campaign Supporting New Medicare for All BillWHO: National Nurses UnitedWHEN: Wednesday, February 27th, 3:00 PM ESTWHERE: Phone-Dial in Number 202-1833All Interested Attendees Should RSVP to Abhi Rahman at .
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California Nurses Move Their Medicare
The Sacramento Bee, October 26, 2018
The union representing 100,000 nurses across California has shifted its Medicare-for-all campaign from California to the national stage, perhaps relieving political pressure on Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom to fulfill what the union sees as his top campaign promise: Delivering a single-payer health care system in the nations largest state.
The California Nurses Association, which led the coalition behind the high-profile 2017 push for a single-payer system, has re-branded its campaign with the slogan Fight to Win Medicare-for-All! Its social media feeds reflect the new national scope of their efforts.
Until this month, the coalition, previously called Campaign for a Healthy California, was focused solely on passing a single-payer health care bill in California. Their campaign reached a fervor in late 2017 and early 2018, when nurses and single-payer activists stormed the California Democratic Party convention and later, the state Capitol, calling on Democratic lawmakers to approve their single-payer bill.
Representatives for the union, joined by its parent organization, National Nurses United, are now expanding their efforts to Congress and other states, such as Florida, Maine, Minnesota and Texas. They say theyre not letting up in California.
California is a starting point, Roberson said.
Part of what this shows is the fight really does need to take place in Washington, he said.
Nurses Applaud Introduction Of Calcare Bill To Implement A Single
Renewing its commitment to the larger fight for health care justice, the California Nurses Association is pleased to sponsor Assembly Bill 1400 , the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act , which would guarantee comprehensive, high-quality health care to all California residents as a human right.
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Bringing Our Fight Against Cvs To The Media
Most recently we have been challenging them in black and white, on the pages of our local newspapers across the country. Nurses and other supporters of Medicare for All have been writing to their local papers, highlighting the link between CVS, the dark money lobbying group the Partnership for Americas Healthcare Future, and politicians who block the passage of health care reform.
These letters tell the story of why we need Medicare for All
They explain why we are targeting CVS:
And how they are bankrolling the Partnership:
The Partnership for Americas Healthcare Future is the number one dark money lobbying group fighting Medicare for All and all health care reform. Over the past year, Congress has attempted to enact reforms to our broken system, but large and powerful corporations have blocked it at every turn. Scott Johnson, Auburn, CA
I recently learned that CVS, my go-to pharmacy, is bankrolling a dark money lobbying group that is fighting against Medicare for All. The Partnership for Americas Healthcare Future spends massive amounts of money paying off politicians to protect corporate bottom lines over the health of patients. CVS claims to care about patients health, but clearly cares more about their profits. Gwen DArcangelis, Chicago, Il
National Nurses United To Host Strategy Call On Medicare For All Need For Systemic Reform
Before summers end, an estimated 27 million people will lose their health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to the 29 million who were uninsured before this pandemic even began. In response to the dire need for systemic reform, National Nurses United will be hosting a Summer Strategy Call for thousands of activists across the country.
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Faith And Healthcare Notes
Democratic 2020 Candidates Invoke Their Faith–But Do They Walk the Walk? The Christian Science Monitor says more candidates are talking about their faith. The same article also quotes Rev. William Barber of the Poor Peoples Campaign saying the candidates policies need to reflect that talk. An orthodox view of Jesus sees how, even in his first sermon, he lifted up the poor, the broken, and the unaccepted, Rev. Barber says. So if a persons spirituality does not produce a quarrel with the sins of injustice, then ones spirituality, or claim of spirituality, is at least suspect.
Why Healthcare Corporations Oppose Medicare for All. Zenei Cortezs patients may be struggling under our current system, but healthcare corporations arent. A dozen healthcare companies had net profit margins above 30% in the first quarter of 2019, per Axios analysis of quarterly financial statements. Most of those were pharmaceutical corporations, with Alexion Pharmaceuticals leading the way with an eye-popping 52% profit.
Ana Nurses Not Ready To Follow Union On Medicare For All
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, pauses as he and other Democratic Senators hold a news conference … on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, to unveil their Medicare for All legislation to reform health care.
The American Nurses Association isnt ready to join a growing movement of union nurses in backing the single payer version of Medicare for All as medical care providers sort out how to support an expansion of healthcare coverage.
Like many national physician groups, nurses generally support universal health coverage, but they arent all ready to throw their weight behind a Medicare for All approach that would upend the private insurance industrys role in administering health benefits.
Nurses, like the doctor groups, tend to be interested in expanding coverage that builds on the existing system. The ANA, which is a professional organization that says it represents four million nurses, has been a key supporter of the Affordable Care Act signed into law in 2010 by President Barack Obama.
The nurses association says it supports an essential benefits package that provides access to comprehensive services, including mental health services, according to the ANAs most recent principles for health system transformation.
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Nurses Support Medicare For All As Fix For Us Healthcare System
Nurses, who face the issues within the current healthcare system in the US daily, are rallying behind the proposed Medicare for All Act. The Act addresses the challenges of the increasingly for-profit health care system, and estimates are that it will bring about huge cost-savings. At the same time, it will pave the way for universal health coverage for all Americans.
Although the total spending on healthcare in the US is the highest in the developed world, health outcomes statistics show that it isnt providing effective or efficient health care. Furthermore, a large number of citizens cannot afford the health care they need.
Currently, nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured and 40 million or more are underinsured. Many cannot afford the costs of copayments and deductibles on essential health care or experience medical bankruptcy when they cant pay their bills after serious acute or chronic health problems.
The Medicare for All Act was introduced to the House of Representatives by Rep Pramila Jayapal in February this year. The Act aims to establish a national health insurance program that will improve on the current Affordable Care Act, which has provided for neither better quality care nor reduced costs. In April, Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced the Medicare for All Act in the Senate with emphasis on a universal single-payer program.
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The ANA was a key player among healthcare lobbies and trade groups that helped thwart attempts in 2017 and 2018 by Republicans in Congress to repeal the ACA. The ANA has been an advocate for expanding Medicaid and prohibiting insurance companies from denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions, its principles for health system transformation say.
Though the ANA isnt backing any specific Medicare expansion legislation, it expects to be involved as plans wend their way through Congress. This is just the beginning we expect many proposals will be debated and considered before 2020, the ANA said. ANA will continue to be involved and actively advocate for nurses and the patients they serve.
Meanwhile, unions representing tens of thousands of nurses across the country are throwing money and an army of members behind a single-payer approach to expand Medicare. Take National Nurses United, which has become a key backer of a grassroots push to get the Medicare for All Act of 2019 introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal passed into law.
That legislation would essentially replace much of the private system, moving Americans into an expanded government-run Medicare program that would eliminate premiums as well as cost sharing common with private insurance like co-payments and deductibles.
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Why Nurses Are Going Door
National Nurses United, the country’s largest nurses union, has been one of the most vocal advocates for moving to a single-payer health-care system, which would eliminate privately-owned, for-profit health insurance companies. Representing more than 150,000 members across 22 states, the union has been leading an organizing drive, helping volunteers across the country knock on doors and build support for a shift away from for-profit health care. “This is probably the most exciting campaign I’ve ever worked on,” says Jasmine Ruddy, the lead organizer for the union’s campaign.
Since Washington congresswoman Pramila Jayapal introduced her Medicare for All bill at the end of February, 113 members of Congress have added their names as co-sponsors. Though it may be dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled Senate, the bill is a sign of how public support for a single-payer health-care system has shifted in the past few years. In 2018, the Pew Research Center found that after after falling below 50 percent during the Obama administration, 60 percent of Americans now agree with the statement: “it’s the government’s responsibility to ensure health care coverage.”
GQ: Why in National Nurses United organizing for Medicare for All now?
Can you talk a little about why nurses are so invested in campaigning for Medicare for All?
How would you describe the campaign strategy then? What’s the strategy beyond winning over members of Congress?