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RNs and Obama Say NO to Forced Health INSURANCE!

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Uploaded on Sep 26, 2009

"Some folks who said that it's not possible to provide universal health care coverage unless there's a mandate._ Their essential argument is the only way to get everybody covered is if the government forces you to buy health insurance. If you don't buy it, then you'll be penalized in some way....The reason people don't have health insurance is because they can't afford it."

In the Feb. 21, 2008, debate with Hillary Clinton, then-Sen. Obama stated plainly,- " Massachusetts has a mandate right now. They have exempted 20 percent of the uninsured because they have concluded that that 20 percent can't afford it. In some cases, there are people who are paying fines and still can't afford it, so now they're worse off than they were. They don't have health insurance and they're paying a fine."

President Obama should heed his own words and block an individual mandate from being part of any health care reform. Otherwise, in his words, the people he is claiming to help will end up worse off than they were.

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Significantly, in Massachusetts, where an individual-mandate health reform law, much like what President Obama is proposing on a national scale, was passed in 2006, at least 352,000 people, or 5.5 percent of the population, remained uninsured in 2008. That number was actually (but non-significantly) higher than the number of uninsured in 2007, before strict enforcement of the individual and employer mandates went into effect.

The legislation championed by the president and the congressional leadership is a virtual clone of the Massachusetts plan, said Dr. Steffie Woolhandler, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP). Todays numbers show that plans that require people to buy private insurance dont work. Obamas plan to replicate Massachusetts reform nationally risks failure on a massive scale.

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