Press Release

Nurses Call Congressional Budget Office Report “an Important Step Forward in the Process of Achieving Medicare for All”

Nurses outside Capitol

By eliminating co-pays, premiums and deductibles, Medicare for All will save patients and families money while ensuring everyone has quality care, say RNs

National Nurses United Presidents Jean Ross, Zenei Cortez and Deborah Burger released the following statement on today’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on Medicare for All:

“Coming off of yesterday’s historic House Rules Committee hearing on Medicare for All, and a newly announced, impending hearing in the Ways and Means Committee, nurses are excited to see Congress further taking this life-saving legislation seriously by releasing a CBO report on Medicare for All.

The fact that the CBO is doing an analysis of Medicare for All is clearly the result of the growing, grassroots movement that nurses have led for decades. We are incredibly proud of our allies in the fight for moving the needle so far on legislation that will save the lives of people in America for generations to come. The CBO report confirms that Medicare for All can be designed and implemented in the United States so that everyone has quality care, can be done in such a way to save the country money, and can be designed with a progressive taxation financing mechanism that will be beneficial to working Americans.

As nurses, we see patients every day who have to choose between refilling their prescriptions and paying rent or putting food on the table—this is unacceptable. The United States currently spends an astronomical 18 percent of its GDP on healthcare. By 2026, that spending is estimated to rise to 20 percent. This is more than double what other highly developed countries spend combined, and yet we trail many of them in critical health outcomes including life expectancy, maternal and infant mortality, and preventable deaths - that’s what makes the amount we currently spend on healthcare so absurd.

Recent studies have shown the Medicare for All will save the U.S. between $2 trillion and $5 trillion over 10 years while ensuring everyone gets the care they need. The CBO report confirms the tremendous administrative savings a Medicare for All system could incur. The report states that “in 2017, the federal government’s cost of administering the Medicare program accounted for 1.4 percent of total Medicare expenditures,” compared to the 12 percent administrative costs on average of private insurers. The report also points out that “single-payer systems typically have stronger purchasing power than multi-payer systems to achieve lower prices.”

With Medicare for All, our patients will no longer face heartbreaking choices like the ones shared in yesterday’s Rules Committee hearing—including activist Ady Barkan’s dilemma of how to cover the $9,000 monthly bill for residential care, or Dr. Farzon Nahvi’s story of a patient who tried to treat her appendicitis at home because she couldn’t afford surgery. Nurses will continue to fight for the lives of our patients, and Medicare for All is the only solution that will guarantee quality health care for everyone.”