Tell the President and Congress: Don't tax nurses' healthcare coverage
Nurses are deeply disappointed with the many flaws in the healthcare bill now advancing in the U.S. Senate, especially the failures to assure universal coverage for all Americans, effectively control rising out-of-pocket insurance and pharmaceutical costs, stop the disgraceful denials of care that insurers don't want to pay for, and tax comprehensive health benefit plans.
It is clear the legislation reflects the pervasive influence of the healthcare industry, especially the insurance lobby, obstruction by Republican defenders of the present system, and the weak leadership by many Democratic leaders in the White House and Congress.
Final changes can still be made when the differences between the House and Senate bills are reconciled in a House-Senate conference committee.
We need your voices, particularly to oppose the tax on workers' health benefits.
For nurses who have devoted their lives to caring for others and every day experience the consequences of an extremely unhealthy system, this tax, along with the remainder of the bill, will not improve patient care or our ability to deliver it because it will likely mean the best-insured patients will have reduced benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Nurses, too may have our benefits taxed or reduced!
Rather than cut healthcare costs by reducing the control of our healthcare system by companies that make profit off sickness, this tax reflects the tragically mistaken idea to cut costs by limiting care delivery and access.
The effect of the tax will be to push employers to drop comprehensive coverage, shift more costs to working people, and the proliferation of high-deductible, junk insurance plans. An employer survey in September found that 86 percent of employers said they would pass the tax along to employees.
To add insult to injury, the Senate amended the tax on benefit plans to exempt certain "high-risk occupations." That change targets predominantly male occupations, despite the fact that nurses lead the nation in occupational back and other musculoskeletal disorders.
Tell President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Reid, and House Speaker Pelosi:
Don't tax nurses' healthcare benefits.
- President Obama: 202.456.1111
- Senate Majority Leader Reid: 775.686.5750
- House Speaker Pelosi: 415.556.4862
National Nurses United