FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 17, 2017
Contact: Jeff Rogers, Communications Specialist
Jeff.Rogers@unacuhcp.org | 909-263-7230
With GOP Health Care Plans Dominating the News, San Diego Nurses Deliver Petitions to Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa Demanding They Protect Patients & Community
SAN DIEGO—A busload of nurses and other health care professionals delivered petitions to local Congressmen Duncan Hunter and Darrell Issa today, calling on them to protect and improve Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care, not weaken it.
“I’m a nurse. I put people first,” said Tim Uliasz, RN, a resident of Hunter’s district and recently retired from Kaiser San Diego. “Congress’s current health care proposal would kick 14 million people off their health insurance. That’s not putting people first.”
The bus stopped first at Congressman Hunter’s office in El Cajon. The Congressman wasn’t there, but his Deputy Chief of Staff, Michael Harrison, came outside to talk to the gathered nurses and health care professionals.
“I’m a Republican and a resident of Congressman Hunter’s district,” said Greg Lutz, RN, at Kaiser San Diego. “We’re on the frontlines of healthcare, working with patients every day. We’re here to express our concerns and offer our advice. Congressman Hunter has Kaiser and Sharp Healthcare in his backyard. Not every congress member has that. We know what needs fixing. It’s important that we maintain the safety net, with a plan that extends the most amount of coverage to the maximum number of people for the least cost. We need to maintain MediCal and Medicare, and keep as many health care professionals as possible on the front line.”
Harrison told the crowd that Hunter had not yet decided how he will vote on Speaker Ryan’s health care proposal, and promised to use the nurses as a resource.
The bus stopped next at Congressman Issa’s office. The Congressman is in Washington, D.C., but Bill Christiansen, his District Director, met with the delegation of nurses and health care professionals from Kaiser San Diego, Sharp Healthcare and other Southern California hospitals. Charmaine Morales, RN, Vice President of UNAC/UHCP, the union which represents most of the delegation, presented Christiansen with a stack of petitions.
“When it comes to health care we need to take steps forward, not back,” said Charmaine Morales, RN, Vice President of United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals. “As nurses, we’re patient advocates, by calling and the requirements of our license. That’s why we’re stepping up now, to advocate for our patients and communities. Nurses are the most trusted profession in the country. Politicians in Washington are making major decisions right now that will impact the lives and health of millions of Americans. They need to hear from nurses and health care professionals. Their current proposals will hurt a lot of people, particularly our elderly. We need to expand access and lower costs, not the other way around. Our current health care laws can use improvement. But these proposals are going in the wrong direction.”
United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) represents over 28,000 registered nurses and other health care professionals, including optometrists; pharmacists; physical, occupational and speech therapists; case managers; nurse midwives; social workers; clinical lab scientists; physician assistants and nurse practitioners. UNAC/UHCP is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. For more information, please visit www.unacuhcp.org | twitter.com/unacuhcp | facebook.com/unacuhcp