An Inglorious End to the Promise of Reform (VIDEO)

Submitted by Eternity on Tue, 12/22/2009 - 19:31.

Rose Ann DeMoro, Executive Director of the National Nurses United - After all the fanfare and high expectations that accompanied the prospect of national health care reform at the outset of this year, the legislation is staggering to a particularly inglorious end.

In a year when lobbyists, led by the health care industry, are poised to smash all records for influence peddling in Washington, we should not be surprised.

But the greater tragedy is that the current bill may lock into place a dysfunctional and inhumane system that threatens to move beyond the reach of more comprehensive reform for generations to come.

At its heart, the single biggest weakness of the bill rapidly advancing in the Senate, which mirrors the central flaw of the House bill as well, is that it "cedes far too much power to the tyranny of a callous insurance industry," as Karen Higgins, RN, co-president of the 150,000-member newly created National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of nurses in U.S. history, has said.

For those who counsel us to accept the steady stream of concessions to the obstructionists and the health care industry with the anticipation that the legislation will be improved in the House-Senate conference process, or in future years, the experience of this year suggests a very different outcome.

As Jean Ross, NNU co-president noted, "the bill seems more likely to be eroded, not improved, in future years due to the unchecked influence of the health care industry lobbyists..."  Read more.