Nurses call on Big Pharma to put patients over profits
Today, National Nurses United (NNU), along with a broader coalition of pro-Medicare for All organizations rallied outside of the national headquarters of PhRMA in support of Medicare for All. Hundreds of nurses, patients and supporters organized outside of the company’s front doors with chants and stories of how PhRMA’s focus on profits has caused hardships for many people.
“We have seen patients rationing their insulin to stay alive and families who can’t afford the medications their children need for treating leukemia. Families have to choose between facing homelessness or caring for their children,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Drug companies know this, and still choose to prioritize profits over people. This is why we need Medicare for All, to protect patients from the abuses of Big Pharma.”
The rally culminated with a powerful action where nurses used Band-Aids to paste large print outs of various GoFundMe pages that people had set up to crowdsource medications and medical procedures (photos available on request).
“Every day, we nurses see the painful toll our current for-profit health insurance system is taking on our patients. Expenses are so crippling that even people ‘with insurance’ have to set up GoFundMe campaigns in order to afford life-saving procedures – this is unacceptable,” said NNU President Zenei Cortez, RN. “The only groups opposed to Medicare for All are the ones profiting off of the status quo – insurance companies, Big Pharma, and the lobbyists who carry out their agenda.”
Nurses have led the grassroots movement for Medicare for All for decades, and have launched an unprecedented, national grassroots movement in support of this legislation, which includes thousands of canvasses and phone banks in every state across the country. H.R. 1384 will be taken up for a hearing in the House Rules Committee tomorrow – the first full committee hearing on Medicare for All — and NNU will be on Capitol Hill to advocate in support of the bill and to mark this historic first step towards health care justice.
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