Press Release

Nation's Nurses Sharply Criticize Deficit Commission's Bowles-Simpson Proposal

For Immediate Release
November 10, 2010

Washington Insiders Misreading Demands of American Public With Efforts to Undermine Retirement Security - Middle Class to Suffer If Bowles-Simpson Passes

(Washington, D.C.)--Jean Ross, RN, co-President of National Nurses United, the nation's union and professional association for registered nurses, issued the following statement on suggestions from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, co-chairs of the Commission on the Deficit, that Social Security and Medicare be cut:

"Nurses are aghast at the Commission on the Deficit's Bowles-Simpson proposal for a cruel and senseless cut to the Social Security and Medicare programs that are at the heart of American retirement and healthcare security for tens of millions of people.  This is just heartless at a time when the average Social Security benefit is already insufficient, especially for women, and for the millions of Americans who have seen their retirement savings lost in this Great Recession."

"Americans have been paying into these programs their entire working lives, and have earned the right to receive what they are owed.  Now, instead of making high-income earners pay their fair share, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson want to cut benefits relied upon by the middle class.  Bowles and Simpson are telling nurses, for example, to work longer, ignore their injured backs and ruined knees, and suck it up so that high-income earners continue to receive tax breaks and our endless Middle Eastern wars continue unabated."

"There is no doubt that the Bowles-Simpson proposals will lead to illness, misery, heartache and uncertainty for many of the most vulnerable among us.  This is entirely unnecessary, as both programs are fully funded for decades, and beloved by the American people.  Let us be clear: there is no desire among the American people to starve these programs, and it is a willful misreading of the election results to suggest otherwise.  Bowles and Simpson have extensive backgrounds as corporate lobbyists or board members, which has clearly blinded them to the everyday life of most Americans.  These proposals, and their corporate lobbyist ties, make them unfit to serve on this panel."