Today’s healthcare system fails to provide quality, therapeutic healthcare to tens of millions of people in the U.S. Because of the for-profit health insurance model, tens of millions of people don’t have health insurance, and tens of millions more cannot afford the costs of healthcare even though they have insurance. This legislation would establish a federal Medicare for All program to ensure every person in the U.S. has quality healthcare. A Medicare for All system would provide healthcare based on patient need, not on corporate profit.
Nurse Staffing Standards for Hospital Patient Safety & Quality Care (S. 1357, H.R. 2581)
Right now, there are no federal standards regulating the number of patients a registered nurse can care for at one time in U.S. hospitals. As a result, nurses are regularly required to care for more patients than is safe, compromising patient care. This legislation would protect patients and improve healthcare by setting mandated, minimum registered nurse to patient staffing ratios.
The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act (S. 851 and H.R. 1309)
Violence against nurses and other healthcare workers in hospitals and other healthcare facilities is a problem reaching epidemic proportions across the United States. Nurses report being threatened, punched, kicked, bitten, beaten, choked, and assaulted on the job — and some have faced stabbings and shootings. The Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Act would mandate that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) promulgate a standard requiring all healthcare employers to prevent workplace violence in hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
This bill would establish a small speculation tax on Wall Street financial transactions, which would help stabilize the market and generate an estimated $320 billion in revenue per year. That revenue would fund free tuition at public colleges and universities, guaranteed healthcare for all, affordable housing, the eradication of the AIDS pandemic, climate change prevention, infrastructure development, and job creation through green infrastructure programs.
Registered nurses working in Veterans Affairs hospitals do not currently have full collective bargaining rights. This means that nurses are restricted from speaking out about poor working conditions and unable to resolve disputes with management. As a result, the quality of patient care can deteriorate and problems in VA facilities can go unaddressed. The VA Employee Fairness Act would improve patient care in VA hospitals by expanding the collective-bargaining rights of registered nurses and other clinicians employed by the Veterans Health Administration.
Water Affordability, Transparency, Equity, & Reliability (S. 611 and H.R. 1417)
Across the country, water infrastructure is crumbling, and millions of people lack reliable access to safe, drinkable, water. This legislation would provide the major financial investment needed to update our water infrastructure, repairing old and lead-ridden water pipes, stopping sewage overflows, and allowing for affordable water services for everyone, while also creating nearly a million jobs.