Protesters, cowbells, drums, megaphones and even belly dancers in support of a single-payer system surrounded the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, the day the high court declared the controversial 2010 health reform law constitutional.
Karen Higgins, co-president of National Nurses United and an intensive-care unit nurse at Boston Medical Center, left Boston at 5:30 a.m. to stand outside the court before the opinion was announced. She will return to Boston in time for a 7 a.m. shift on Friday. Representing more than 170,000 U.S. nurses, National Nurses United advocates for Medicare to be expanded.
“There are millions of people out there that do not have insurance,” Higgins said. “If they had Medicare, they could actually go to a doctor, they could get treated, they could get their medications. But because they don't, we end up seeing them in the intensive-care unit because they couldn't get treated in the first place,” she said, adding that regardless of the court's decision, the national conversation needs to focus on healthcare, not health insurance.