Union Nurses Call for Single-Payer System

By Emily P. Walker, MedPage Today

Several hundred members of National Nurses United held a rally here on Tuesday to call for a single-payer healthcare system, an end to tax breaks for big corporations, and workers’ rights.

The nurses started their march in front of the White House and walked across the street to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce chanting “Hey Chamber, you can’t hide, we can see your greedy side.”

The union wants Congress to levy higher taxes on Wall Street, which would include the big companies that the Chamber of Commerce represents, Dan Rec, RN, of Jamaica Plain, Mass., explained.

The nurses then bussed over to the Capitol where they were serenaded by a singer/guitar player who belted social justice tunes, and then heard brief speeches from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Sanders, like the 175,000-strong nurses union, is a major proponent of a single-payer healthcare system.

“If you have the money, you have good healthcare,” Rec told MedPage Today. “If you don’t have the money, it’s ‘oh well.’ It needs to be healthcare for all.”

Boxer spoke out against Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to drastically change Medicare for those who are currently under 65, saying many in Congress don’t want to change the insurance program for the elderly.