Nurses’ Union Supports Sanders, Ignores Destructive Consequences of Medicare for All

Alice Salles Comments

Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders snagged another campaign endorsement. Much like all others, the latest pledge of support comes with strings attached.

National Nurses United is the largest nurses union group in America. This week, it announced its endorsement of Sanders and his universal Medicare for All, giving the presidential candidate millions in financial backing from the union’s super PAC. 

In the announcement published by NNU’s own website, President Jean Ross made it clear why supporting Sanders is part of the organization’s strategy.

“We need a president who makes it easier for us to stand together and hold our employers accountable for putting people above profits,” said Ross. 

In the same article, NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN, further explained why they believe Medicare for All would be an improvement of the current healthcare system 

“Nurses are beyond tired of watching our patients suffer and die needlessly simply due to inability to pay, and we know Bernie Sanders is, and has been, leading on Medicare for All through his advocacy and Senate legislation.”

To the group, putting the financial burden on government (i.e. the taxpayers) is key to giving Americans access to life-saving health care. However flawed the current healthcare system in America is, NNU leadership seems to believe, eliminating a private option and transitioning millions of Americans to a Medicare-style system would both help patients in the lower-income brackets and the medical industry, who would have no shortage of patients to care for. Unfortunately, the NNU’s logic is lacking, especially when we realize that the destruction of the private sector will actually worsen the already troubling medical staff shortage plaguing the country.

In the end, Sanders and his Medicare for All will actually make it less profitable for nurses and doctors to practice medicine, insulate the market from newcomers, and hurt patients who need help the most.

Fighting for the Status Quo

Currently, the US healthcare market is still dealing with the disruption caused by the Affordable Care Act. 

Despite the many promises made by former President Barack Obama and the claims made in several pro-ObamaCare studies claiming that the passage of the law saved lives, the numbers don’t add up. Worse yet, the rules actually made US healthcare more expensive and less effective. By transferring millions of Americans who either have private insurance or who aren’t covered to Medicare would actually lower provider fees below market levels, since Medicare reimbursement rates are significantly lower than the fees provided privately. 

Over time, physicians, clinics, hospitals, and others in the industry would be forced out of the market due to their incapacity to pay the bills. This would increase the demand for providers and yet, new providers would not be able to enter the market precisely due to the increasing costs. 

Patients would be the first to suffer as they would lose control over their healthcare decisions and see a dramatic drop in the quality of care, as they would have to deal with longer wait times. 

If anything, nurses supporting the NNU’s decision to back Sanders’ proposal aren’t looking after the poor and the sick. Instead, they are looking out for the political class and their misguided vision for America. 

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