Diary of a Wimpy Health Care Bill
By Rose Ann DeMoro
California Nurses Association

Passage of President Obama’s healthcare bill proves that Congress can enact comprehensive social legislation in the face of virulent rightwing opposition. Now that we have an insurance bill, can we move on to healthcare reform?

As an organization of registered nurses, we have an obligation to provide an honest assessment, as nurses must do every hour of every day. The legislation fails to deliver on the promise of a single standard of excellence in care for all and instead makes piecemeal adjustments to the current privatized, for-profit healthcare behemoth.

When all the boasts fade, comparing the bill to Social Security and Medicare, probably intended to mollify liberal supporters following repeated concessions to the healthcare industry and conservative Democrats, a sobering reality will probably set in.

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Pro-single-payer doctors: Health bill leaves 23 million uninsured
A false promise of reform

As much as we would like to join the celebration of the House’s
passage of the health bill last night, in good conscience we cannot.
We take no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of

Instead of eliminating the root of the problem — the profit-driven,
private health insurance industry — this costly new legislation will
enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require
millions of Americans to buy private insurers’ defective products, and
turn over to them vast amounts of public money.

The hype surrounding the new health bill is belied by the facts:

* About 23 million people will remain uninsured nine years out.
That figure translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths
annually and an incalculable toll of suffering.

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