United Nurses President Raises Issues of Nursing Education, Prevention at UCLA Forum on National Health Care Debate

November 2009

President Kathy J. Sackman, RN, joins other thought leaders at a UCLA Forum on the Health Care Debate.

Los Angeles, CA - On Tuesday, November 10, Kathy Sackman, RN and president of the United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP), joined other health care reform experts at "Inside the Healthcare Debate: A Rational Conversation with Thought Leaders," a discussion to breakdown the current proposed legislation and reform’s surrounding debate. Sackman raised the inclusion of resources to address the nursing shortage and other workforce issues present in the proposed House of Representatives bill, HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act.

"The House bill makes a number of improvements in nursing programs, including increasing loan repayment benefits for nursing students and faculty, removing the cap on awards for nursing students pursuing a doctoral degree and making nurse-managed health centers eligible for grant awards,” stated Sackman. “It incorporates funding for public health training programs and includes community-based multidisciplinary teams, which will go a long way toward ensuring an integrated effort by health care providers that emphasizes both wellness and prevention."

Sackman joined panelists UCLA School of Public Affairs Professors Fernando Torres-Gil, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Mark Peterson, Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, as well as John Healy, Editorial Writer for the Los Angeles Times. Moderated by Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Dean at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, the panel discussed the impact of the legislation proposed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and House of Representatives on special populations, Medicare and Medi-Cal, the insurance industry and the overall American public.

"The final approved legislation isn’t slated to cover the broader population until 2013, so it will take years for the full impact of the legislation to take effect," commented Sackman. “The people who will experience the most immediate benefit will be those of us who have been cut out of the insurance industry due to pre-existing conditions, have no insurance, utilize COBRA benefits or may be losing their care.  We will need to be patient and allow health care reform the time it needs to correct our broken health care system.”

The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals represents nurses and other health care professionals throughout Southern California. UNAC/UHCP, as the association is known, is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO.