Nurses Applaud Keith Ellison as New Sponsor of Medicare for All Bill, Welcome New Chapter in Movement for Guaranteed Health Care for All
National Nurses United today commended Congressman Keith Ellison after he took over the lead sponsorship of HR 676, the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. Ellison asked for unanimous consent to become the lead sponsor on the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday afternoon.
“Representative Ellison has long been a leader in the fight for a single payer, Medicare for all healthcare system, and we are looking forward to working with him to finally win guaranteed healthcare for all people living in the United States,” said Jean Ross, Co-President of National Nurses United, and a registered nurse from Minnesota.
“As registered nurses, we see the horrific impacts of our for-profit health insurance system everyday at the hospital bedside. Tens of millions of people don’t have insurance, while millions more can’t afford the costs of the deductibles and copays. As a result, too many patients go without care. We see patients everyday who can’t afford the costs of the lifesaving treatments or medications that they require, and we see the devastation that these realities cause for their families,” Ross continued.
“But there is a solution to end this unnecessary suffering. Through an improved Medicare for All system, every person living in the United States could receive the healthcare services they need. Every other industrialized nation has used a similar approach to guarantee quality healthcare for its residents, and it’s time that the United States did the same.”
Former Congressman John Conyers Jr., who resigned in December, previously introduced HR 676. The bill has received groundbreaking support in this congressional session, with 120 democratic members of congress cosponsoring the legislation.
“In the past year, the movement for a single-payer healthcare system has turned a new page,” said Bonnie Castillo, RN, Executive Director of National Nurses United. “We have seen huge growth in both public and political support for improved Medicare for All. “Our patients know that they are being short-changed by the current for-profit health insurance system, and they are demanding Medicare for All. In Congress, the movement for healthcare justice has a new champion, Keith Ellison, who shares the nurses’ values of caring, compassion and community. NNU looks forward to working with Rep. Ellison, and with everyone who shares those values, to build a truly just healthcare system.”
National Nurses United is the nation’s largest union of registered nurses, and represents 150,000 nurses across the country. For her part, Jean Ross believes that the fight for Medicare for All is necessary for her profession, saying “as nurses, we have a duty to advocate for our patients, and we know that Medicare for All is the best solution for our patients.”