For Immediate Release
New York, N.Y. – June 18, 2007 – Registered nurses, doctors, and leaders from both the labor and consumer advocacy community attended the premiere of Michael Moore’s new film, SiCKO, this evening at the Ziegfeld Theatre in midtown Manhattan.
Arriving at the theater on the “Scrubs for SiCKO” bus, the group spoke briefly about the need for universal health care in New York and across the nation. They were invited by Moore to attend the premiere because of their ongoing their efforts to bring this issue to the forefront.
“Health care is a right, not a privilege,” said Verlia M. Brown, RN, a critical care nurse at Kings County Hospital and president of NYSNA. “To make sure that every American has access to care, we must abandon a system controlled by for-profit, private insurance companies. We need a single-payer plan that covers everyone.”
Oliver Fein, MD, chair of the PNHP NY Metro Chapter and Professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Public Health at the Weill Cornell Medical College, said, “We’ve waited too long for a single-payer national health insurance system that provides comprehensive, high quality health care to everyone. We call on our political leaders to place the needs of the American people above those of the insurance and drug companies that have until now blocked real health reform.”
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA, noted that SiCKO is “not just an indictment of an indefensible healthcare industry in the U.S. It’s an answer to those who think we can fix the problem by tinkering with the system, which will only put us further in thrall to those who created the crisis.”
Additional participants in the campaign associated with the movie include the New York City Central Labor Council, the Massachusetts Nurses Association, Health Professionals and Allied Employees/AFT, the United Steelworkers Health Care Workers Council, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, United Nurses and Allied Professionals (Rhode Island), Communications Workers of America, and the New England Nurses Association. The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is also participating, with other groups to be announced.
H.R.676, a bill now before Congress, would establish a single-payer health insurance plan for all Americans. NYSNA also has testified at the State Capitol on behalf of the New York Health Plan (A.7354/S.3107), legislation that would create a statewide single-payer insurance system.
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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