Friday, January 5, 2007

A historic day for the women of America

Yesterday Nancy Pelosi of California took the speaker's gavel from Rep John Boehner of Ohio. The New York Times reported. “This is an historic moment,” Mrs. Pelosi said in her first remarks as speaker of the 110th Congress. “It’s an historic moment for the Congress. It’s an historic moment for the women of America. It is a moment for which we have waited for over 200 years.”

Currently we have 50 Democratic women in the U.S. House, 11 in the U.S. Senate, and 46 in important statewide positions across the country, the largest increase in a single election of Democratic women at this level in history!!

The new speaker of the house has demonstrated her commitment to health care and health during her tenure in congress. Mrs. Pelosi's legislative record includes protecting workers, and promoting health care, including women's health and the creation of a nationwide health tracking network to examine the links between environmental pollutants and chronic disease. She is the creator of Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS program. She has also successfully increased access to health insurance for people with disabilities by ensuring continuation of their health care coverage. Health Care issues will be top priority on the Democrat's list in 2007 addressing interest of the middle-class and work-class Americans. Including prescription drug coverage, minimum wage, and health insurance for the uninsured.

Additionally, Mrs Pelosi is not immune to the issues of nursing. She had selected a nurse activist and former lobbyist Catherine Dodd to serve as a director of her home office in California. Mrs. Pelosi also wrote the forward to Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care ( 5th ed.)

in which she states:

"Nurses have significant knowledge about the health issues facing our nation. They must recognize how they can effectively use their expertise to improve health policy, and ultimately the health of our citizens.......If health professionals want their perspectives on problems heard, they must bring information to those who make decisions and the staff who advise them. There are many advocates on all sides of each issue, all competing for access to those who make decisions. Therefore, nurses must not only understand their issues in great depth and be able to articulate a solution, but they should also know the weaknesses and strengths of the positions of other stake holders."

The speaker has spoken...are you listening??


emmy said...

Now if we could just get Chaney to shoot Bush...

catherine said...

I'm please that you've included Speaker Pelosi on this Nurses' blog. As her former district chief of staff (I'm currently finishing my PhD at UCSF looking at hospice policy) I can only say that since 1987 when "nurses for pelosi" helped elect her and the ANA PAC endorsed her, she has been a champion for nursing. Nurses' political sophistication must begin to include raising money as nurses to elect the leaders we believe in. Watch for a new Political Action Committee modeled after to emerge soon.