Just to be clear, the more than 100 registered nurses huddled around Irvine's Civic Center Plaza at high noon today are not there to implant a conscience into Larry Agran.
The RNs are joining community activists to rally against any cuts to Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid.
Now, there are no proposals before the Irvine City Council to cut Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. But it is being knocked around the halls of Congress and the White House, where the discussion to raise the national debt ceiling has included talk of cutting services to seniors and the disadvantaged.
The rally is being held at 1 Civic Center Plaza to help convince those Marxists on the Irvine City Council to get behind the call to protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
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"At a time when so many seniors and working families are enduring enormous hardship due to the economic crisis, the prospect of additional reductions in our most basic programs is unconscionable," DeAnn McEwen, a RN and co-president of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), says in a statement announcing the demonstration.
Nurses on the frontlines are seeing the devastating effect rising costs, dwindling services and unemployment are already having on seniors and the poor, she adds. The CNA points to a survey the Kaiser Family Foundation released this week that revealed 47 percent of Medicare recipients are already spending nearly a fourth of their budgets on healthcare.
The NNU does have an alternative: a proposed tax on Wall Street speculation, such as major trades on stocks, bonds, derivatives, and credit default swaps, "that could raise hundreds of billions of dollars every year to help rebuild America."
The lobbies say to expect a bill soon.