WASHINGTON – National Nurses United (NNU) today enthusiastically greeted the introduction of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All Act of 2017 as a critical step forward – and as a reflection of the work by NNU members for many years to guarantee health care with comprehensive benefits and a single standard of quality care for everyone.
“We could not be more proud of Sen. Sanders for his enormous effort to solve once and for all an urgent issue that touches every American family, and every community – ensuring everyone, regardless of your age, gender, race, nationally, economic status or where you live can be guaranteed safe, quality care when and where you need it,” said NNU Executive Director RoseAnn DeMoro.
DeMoro thanked the more than a dozen Senators who have already signed on as co-sponsors of the Senate bill, along with the majority of House Democrats who are now co-sponsoring a longtime House single payer bill, Rep. John Conyers’ HR 676, which NNU also backs.
“This is an especially gratifying moment for the tens of thousands of nurses across the U.S. who have dedicated years of effort to transform our healthcare system from an profiteering industry based on greed and suffering to patient need and healing,” said DeMoro.
DeMoro noted that “the broad support this bill is already generating is a dramatic testament to a seismic shift occurring across the U.S. toward grassroots participatory democracy and the demand of people in communities across the nation demanding a real change. It is this broad movement that is forcing this issue on the public agenda.”
“The introduction of this bill is also the direct product of how Sen. Sanders made Medicare for all, and healthcare as a human right, such a signature issue of his campaign, how that inspired, animated and activated millions of people, especially young people, and the work nurses and other healthcare activists have also done for years to pave the path for this moment,” DeMoro said.
In the coming days and months, DeMoro added, “NNU will continue to press this issue, calling on all Senators to sign on, and to challenge those who will stand in the way of enacting the healthcare system we need. We know, as polls have shown, the public is with us, now it is time for all elected leaders to take a stand because too many are struggling under the present system and, as Bernie would say, enough is enough. Let’s enact Medicare for all.”
NNU members and allies, DeMoro noted, will also continue on a two-track strategy to pass the federal legislation, and to press states to concurrently act, as with a California bill that passed that state’s Senate in June, SB 562. a