Obama Trots Out Nurses Endorsement (Again) to Keep Health Care Temperature Up

By Caitlin Taylor

Sep 10, 2009 11:41am

ABC News’ Sunlen Miller reports: Hoping to keep the health care momentum going following last night’s joint address to Congress, President Obama trotted out the American Nurses Association for an event this morning to again announce their “enthusiastic support” for President Obama’s proposals. The support of the nurses association is not new – The President had a similar event in the Rose Garden in July where similarly members of the ANA surrounded him, in scrubs or white lab coats as many in the audience of the President’s remarks were today. President Obama this morning brought new numbers from the Census Bureau to make his case for the need for reform, due to rising numbers of the uninsured. “This morning, the Census Bureau released new data showing not only that the poverty rate increased last year at the highest rate since the early 1990s, but also that the number of uninsured rose in 2008. And we know from more up-to-date surveys that, since the recession intensified last September, the situation has grown worse. Over the last 12 months, it’s estimated that the ranks of the uninsured have swelled by nearly 6 million people.  That’s 17,000 men and women every single day.  And we know that, during this period of time, the number of adults who get their coverage at the workplace has dropped by 8 million people.” The tone during last night’s address to Congress continued – Mr. Obama said that the issue has been talked and talked to death, and “the time for talk is winding down.” “Now is the time to act, and I will not permit reform to be postponed or imperiled by the usual ideological diversions,” Obama said, “We don’t need more partisan distractions.  If there are real concerns about any aspect of my plan, let’s address them.  If there are real differences, let’s resolve them.” Mr. Obama made a passing reference to his joint address to Congress last night, offering up a short cliff-notes version to the viewers who last night chose to watch FOX, and didn’t air the address. ” Just in case folks weren’t tuned in last night if they — if they were watching “So You Think You Can Dance,” a show Michelle likes, by the way — let me explain — just explain more briefly than I did last night what health insurance reform will mean for ordinary Americans.” Obama outlined in broad strokes the goals of health insurance reform and made a pitch for “one of the options” available for a public option. “As I’ve said from the outset and repeated last night, one way to give people a real choice when it comes to their health care and keep insurance companies honest is by making one of the options available in such a marketplace a not-for-profit public option.” President Obama said they are going to meet these goals “this year,” and enlisted nurses to go out and do their part to call for action now. “I want to say thank you for all the support you’re providing for health insurance reform for the American people,” Obama said, “I just love nurses.  I don’t know what it is. You know, I love — I love nurses.  Michelle knows about it; it’s OK.” –Sunlen Miller

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