National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine March 2014

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NATIONAL NURSE,™ (ISSN 2153-0386 print /ISSN 2153-0394 online) The Voice of National Nurses United, March 2014 Volume 110/2 is published by National Nurses United, 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612- 2908. It provides news of organizational activities and reports on developments of concern to all registered nurses across the nation. It also carries general cover- age and commen tary on matters of nurs- ing practice, community and public health, and healthcare policy. It is pub- lished monthly except for combined issues in January and Febru- ary, and July and August. Periodicals postage paid at Oakland, California. POSTMASTER: send address changes to National Nurse, ™ 2000 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612-2908. To send a media release or announce- ment, fax (510) 663-0629. National Nurse™ is carried on the NNU website at For permission to reprint articles, write to Editorial Office. To subscribe, send $40 ($45 foreign) to Subscription Department. Please contact us with your story ideas They can be about practice or manage- ment trends you've observed, or simply something new you've encountered in the profession. They can be about one nurse, unit, or hospital, or about the wider landscape of healthcare policy from an RN's perspective. They can be humorous, or a matter of life and death. If you're a writer and would like to contribute an article, please let us know. You can reach us at EXECUTIVE EDITOR RoseAnn DeMoro EDITOR Lucia Hwang GRAPHIC DESIGN Jonathan Wieder COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR Charles Idelson CONTRIBUTORS Gerard Brogan, RN, Hedy Dumpel, RN, JD, Jan Rabbers, Donna Smith, David Schildmeier, Ann Kettering Sincox PHOTOGRAPHY Jaclyn Higgs, Tad Keyes, Erin FitzGerald okay. we have good news and bad news. The bad news is that the Affordable Care Act, despite good provisions such as Medi- caid expansion and coverage until age 26 for children on their parents' plans, leaves many significant problems unaddressed. The good news, as we report in this month's issue, is that at least 22 states are moving on from the federal debacle and working to win a single-payer system for their individual state. It's part of a state-by-state adoption strategy that worked for Canadi- ans in passing their Medicare system and has worked for the United States on other momentous political issues that required a groundswell of state support before the federal government finally took action. Single-payer supporters are hopeful that, as the shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act become increasingly obvious and individual states choose the only workable solution, there will eventually be the reform we nurses know is desperately needed. Vermont, California, and New York are the furthest along in pushing for state single-payer, and many National Nurses United RN members across the country are also active in their respective states, educating their patients and the general public about why improving and expanding Medicare to everybody is the only way to break free of the health insurance industry and guarantee a single standard of quality care to all. As Maine RN Terrylyn Bradbury says, "The biggest problem with the American healthcare system is health insurance companies." Actor and playwright Michael Milligan is helping out the cause with his one-man show Mercy Killers, which he has been performing all around the country. Mercy Killers tells the story of Joe, an auto mechanic whose conservative beliefs are shaken when his wife falls ill with cancer and they have to deal with their inadequate health insurance coverage. Many of the nurses we know who have seen the show said that the play is a powerful tool in initiating discussions about single- payer because the story touches viewers on an emotional level that flyers, brochures, and pamphlets cannot. If you have the opportunity, we highly recommend that you go see it. You can visit for more information. This year, we really encourage you to get involved in your local, regional, and state efforts to win single-payer healthcare reform. As nurses, we not only are able to share first-hand sto- ries about why Medicare for all is needed, but the public trusts and respects our position. Single-payer supporters won't win their fights without the leadership of registered nurses, so let's get out there and make it happen! Deborah Burger, RN | Karen Higgins, RN | Jean Ross, RN National Nurses United Council of Presidents Letter from the Council of Presidents Stay connected FACEBOOK: TWITTER: @RNmagazine, @NationalNurses FLICKR: YOUTUBE: DIGITAL MAGAZINE:

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