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Countdown to Decision: National Nurses Leaders to Comment on Court Ruling


Countdown to Decision: National Nurses Leaders to Comment on Court Ruling
Largest RN Organization at Court and in the Field When Decision Announced; Nurses Already Holding Free Health Screenings, Town Hall Meetings
Washington, D.C. – Leaders of the nation’s premier and largest union and professional association of registered nurses will be speaking out Thursday as the Supreme Court rules on the Affordable Care Act.
Karen Higgins, RN, a nurse at Boston Medical Center and co-president of the 175,000-member National Nurses United, will be with other nurses on the steps of the Supreme Court, Thursday morning, June 28. “Our concern is that a system of unaffordable, under-insurance will persist.  No matter the outcome, millions will effectively be denied regular quality care,” said Higgins. 
To arrange interviews with Higgins or other nurse leaders, contact Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246 or 415-559-8991 or Carl Ginsburg, (917) 405-1060
In advance of the decision, the 175,000 member NNU, with members across the U.S., began a three-week bus tour across California holding free health screenings and town hall meetings where community members are invited to tell their health care stories.  Following is a link to two accounts shared.
Overflow crowds in San Diego, Fresno and other cities have greeted the nurses. Nurses heard testimonials from town residents denied care due to cost or insurance obstacles. Nurses also have also been discussing the upcoming ruling and the nurses’ RX for the healthcare crisis – expanding Medicare to cover everyone. 
Deborah Burger, RN and co-president, National Nurses United, has been on the bus tour and is available for interviews today and tomorrow. 
“In the past year, nurses have been especially alarmed at what they see as broad declines in health and living standards for substantial segments of the U.S. population,” said Burger.  “These declines are directly linked to the persistent economic crisis.”
Health conditions nurses identified as linked to the loss of jobs, homes, poor nutrition, and resulting from un-payable medical bills or high out-of-pocket costs for care include stress-induced heart ailments in younger patients, anxiety and “gut” disorders, higher asthma rates prompted by delays tied to poverty or insurance obstacles, and illnesses formerly associated primarily with adults now seen in children.
In addition, later this week in Philadelphia, eight real life stars of Michael Moore’s 2007 film on the healthcare crisis, “SiCKO,” will hold a five-year reunion. Titled “Still SiCKO After All These Years,” the public event will be held on Saturday, June 30 at 7 p.m. at Plays and Players Theater, 1714 Delancey Street, Philadelphia. Moore is also scheduled to speak. For information on that event, contact Donna Smith, one of the stars of the film who is also currently on the California tour, at 773-617-4493.