For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Webber, 518.782.9400, Ext. 223
Latham, NY, January 24, 2007 — President George W. Bush’s “healthcare reform” proposal, touted in his State of the Union Address, will not help most of the 46 million Americans currently without health insurance.
“It’s time to stop tinkering with a broken healthcare system and enact reform that will really make a difference,” said Tina Gerardi, RN, interim director of the New York State Nurses Association. “The nation needs a single-payer, publicly funded, and publicly administered insurance program.”
Along with the Physicians for a National Health Plan and the California Nurses Association, NYSNA is urging Congress to reject the Bush plan and support HR676, the U.S. National Health Insurance Act. This measure would set up a government-funded healthcare system that would give every U.S. resident access to health care.
“Our members have long supported a “single-payer” plan because it’s the only proposal that will ensure affordable health care for all,” Gerardi continued. “Tax credits will not do this. The Bush plan encourages individuals to settle for low-quality insurance plans and is an incentive for employers to drop or reduce coverage for their workers.”
Over the past five years, the percentage of adults with employer-provided insurance has steadily declined. In New York state, 65% of the 2.5 million uninsured adults under age 65 are employed full time.
According to the Bush’s radio announcement last weekend, if the value of employer-provided insurance is more than a fixed tax credit cap, employees will pay income tax on the difference. This will penalize individuals with higher-quality insurance or who pay higher premium rates due to chronic illness.
NYSNA also supports state legislation that would institute a single-payer health care system in New York. In 2006, nurses supported the New York Health Plan, which would ensure affordable access to healthcare for all state residents.
With more than 34,000 members, NYSNA is the oldest and largest state nurses’ association in the nation. It is an influential union for RNs, representing nurses in New York and New Jersey. Offering a wide range of services to its members, NYSNA fosters high standards of nursing education and practice and works to advance the profession through legislative activity. It is a constituent of the American Nurses Association and of the United American Nurses, an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.
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