Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has won the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 1.9 million workers, including nurses, hospital staff and nursing-home workers.
The U.S. is prepped for major changes, and We believe Barack Obama is the one to take us there, SEIU President Andy Stern told reporters in a teleconference.
This is a major victory for Obama, who, along with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), had been courting the powerful union for its endorsement. Both had accepted the SEIUs challenge to walk a day in the shoes of union members. Last year, Obama had performed the tasks of a home-care worker in Oakland, Calif.
The outcome of this election will decide whether theres quality affordable healthcare for everyone, in addition to the outcome of the war in Iraq, and other issues, SEIU secretary-treasurer Anna Burger said during the teleconference.
Obamas healthcare platform calls for a National Health Insurance Exchange that would allow businesses and uninsured individuals to enroll in the new public plan or approved private plans. He would seek to expand health insurance for children through public programs, support an independent institute to guide comparative-effectiveness reviews and require reporting of preventable errors. Obama also wants to invest $50 billion toward adoption of electronic health records and other health information technology. While Obama and Clinton's healthcare plans are both very strong, "Obama has a unique ability to bring people together, which is what it will take to get healthcare reform done," the SEIU said in a written statement. -- by Jennifer Lubell
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Physician Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.