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Nurses Rally to Tax Wall Street

kpbs, 6/24/11

Originally published June 23, 2011 at 4:37 p.m., updated June 23, 2011 at 4:21 p.m.

Local nurses rallied today in support of a national call for a half-cent tax on stock and bond sales and other financial transactions. The new revenue would restore jobs and help fix the economy. Members of the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United say the billions raised could ease financial strains on working families.

Nurse Michael Jackson, who works in the UCSD Medical System, said the impact of a poor economy is readily seen in crowded emergency rooms and in a reluctance by many San Diegans to seek care.

“People have lost their jobs here in San Diego County and instead of going to a primary care physician, now they’re coming to the emergency department and utilizing the ER as a doctor’s office," Jackson said. "And sometimes they wait and they wait thinking that they’ll get better and by the time they come into the ER the disease process has gone far enough to increase the expense.”

The nurses made their case at a noon rally on the County Building steps. The protest is part of a national campaign, the Main Street Contract for the American People, that calls for more just education, healthcare, retirement, housing, and taxation systems.

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