SEIU News Release – September 10, 2013
Hundreds of SEIU Healthcare PA Members will Mobilize Communities and Urge Full Implementation of the Affordable Care Act
(Pittsburgh) – The president of the nation’s largest union of nurses and healthcare workers, Mary Kay Henry, today joined with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and local nurse leaders to announce a major national outreach initiative by SEIU members on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), adding to the growing list of high-profile groups nationwide who are HHS “Champions of Change” partners supporting the new healthcare law.
“Let there be no doubt, the new healthcare law is working for working people,” SEIU President Henry said. “We are not seeing the long-predicted ‘rate shock’ but we are seeing ‘Republican shock’ as extremists fail in attempts to repeal or obstruct the Affordable Care Act and its landmark protections and benefits for working Americans.”
Nurses, nursing home caregivers, home care attendants and other healthcare workers who are members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania will join SEIU members across the country in reaching out to hundreds of thousands of working Americans in 30 cities in coming weeks and months. Nurses like Allegheny General Hospital’s Cathy Stoddart, R.N, who was present for the joint announcement, will lead the way in Pennsylvania to educate patients, community members and other healthcare workers about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
Stoddart, whose family was once was forced into bankruptcy due to medical bills said, “Of all the things I do as a nurse – and a mother – making sure the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented is the most important. We are determined to make sure that no family will ever have go through the kind of experience that my family endured to have access, to quality, affordable and safe healthcare.”
Across Pennsylvania, Stoddart and hundreds of other SEIU healthcare workers will work to educate fellow citizens on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act through community and press events and will meet with state legislators to urge the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including the expansion of Medicaid.
Neal Bisno, President of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, who also attended the event, highlighted the continued positive impact the ACA will have on our state. “The Affordable Care Act will transform the lives of thousands of working Pennsylvanians, allowing them to access life-saving care despite pre-existing conditions and without the fear of medical bankruptcy. We must continue to move forward to enable hundreds of thousands more Pennsylvanians to benefit through full implementation of the law.”
In addition to Pennsylvania, SEIU members nationwide will focus their outreach efforts on communities in 13 states (CA, CO, CT, FL, IL, MD, MN, NJ, NY, OH, RI, TX, WA) that have the highest rates of poverty and where working poor people, particularly African American and Latino residents, are most likely to go without insurance because they can’t afford it. Going door-to-door in their communities, spreading the word in their facilities and hosting community education events with partner groups such as Planned Parenthood, Families USA and Enroll America, SEIU members will connect with hundreds of thousands of Americans, including low-wage workers like janitors, homecare workers, childcare providers, and fast food workers.
“It’s our moment to build power for working people by empowering them with the facts about the new healthcare law,” Henry said. “SEIU members worked for more than two decades to win affordable healthcare and stop the worst insurance industry abuses. We’re ready to give it all we’ve got once again.”