Nurses and Healthcare Workers Urge Congress to Cancel Vote on Ruinous Health Bill Which Would Cause Suffering for Millions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 24, 2017
Contact: NYSNA: Carl Ginsburg, carl.ginsburg@nysna.org, 917.405.1060
1199SEIU: Mark Riley, mark.riley@1199.org, 347.637.0621

‘Anti-American’ Health Care Act would annihilate healthcare for kids, seniors, working families and people with disabilities, while showering the rich with billions in tax breaks

NEW YORK CITY — Nurses, nurse assistants, homecare workers and other caregivers who work in hospitals, nursing homes and homecare programs are calling on Congressional Republicans to cancel the vote on the destructive health bill. Health professionals are raising alarms that the Republican plan will take away health coverage for 24 million Americans; raise costs for the middle-class and lower-income patients; slash Medicaid for vulnerable children, seniors, working families and people with disabilities; kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and hurt the economy; and hand out billions in tax breaks to insurance CEOs and the rich.

The New York State Nurses Association and 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East together represent half a million healthcare professionals. They have been joining the wide range of deeply concerned healthcare providers, doctors, advocacy organizations, community groups and lately even moderate Republicans who are warning this rushed bill is a dire mistake that will hurt, rather than help, the healthcare system

“I work in the busiest emergency departments in the Bronx, which will be severely impacted by people seeking emergency care as well as primary care,” said NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN. “If this bill passes, our ability to provide effective care will be unsustainable due to large numbers of people who will lose their coverage and will have no choice but to seek care in the ER.  I am extremely worried about our ability to save lives.   It’s shameful that these politicians are playing politics with people’s lives.  Our patients need absolute guarantees that they will have equal access to quality care in a healthcare system that does not discriminate based upon income, age or residence.  Healthcare is a human right.  NYSNA demands that this bill be stopped.  We stand by our patients, our communities and our colleagues to say - VOTE NO!”

“The Republican plan is about slashing care for children, seniors, working families and people with disabilities to give a $600 billion tax cut to the rich,” said 1199SEIU President George Gresham. “It will cut coverage for millions, hurt the ability of healthcare workers to provide quality care, and kill jobs across the country. But this issue goes beyond even the physical and economic health of Americans, and speaks to the moral health of our nation. The kind of healthcare system we have in large part determines the kind of nation we aspire to be. Do we believe that all Americans are connected to and responsible for each other? Or do we abandon our friends, co-workers and neighbors to suffer alone with a chronic disease, heart attack, disability, addiction, cancer scare or car accident and the medical bankruptcy that can result? Healthcare workers will continue to fight this ‘Anti-American’ Health Care Act, because we believe that quality affordable healthcare is an inalienable right for all Americans, not just the wealthy few.”

The catastrophic potential impact of the Republican plan on healthcare and jobs for New York and the nation:
Number of people who would lose health coverage by 2026: NY State – 2.8 million, Nationally – 24 million
Number of healthcare jobs losses by 2022: NY State – 33,000, Nationally – 600,000
Number of total job losses by 2022: NY State – 90,000, Nationally – 1.8 million
Medicaid cuts: NY State – $97 billion (from 2019 to 2028), Nationally – $880 billion (from 2017 to 2026)

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The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) represents 40,000 members in New York State. We are New York’s largest union and professional association for registered nurses. For more information, please visit our website at www.nysna.org.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest healthcare union in the nation. They represent more than 400,000 healthcare workers throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Their mission is to achieve quality healthcare and good jobs for all.

About NYSNA

We are 40,000 nurses working together to win safe staffing, keep hospitals open for care, stop the Wall Street attack on our patients, and win healthcare for all.