February 3, 2010
Statement by Randi Weingarten,
President, American Federation of Teachers,
On President Obama’s Healthcare Budget Proposal
WASHINGTON—President Obama’s budget proposal reflects his continuing commitment to expanding Americans’ access to high-quality and affordable healthcare services.
The president’s proposal for additional support for primary healthcare professionals shows that he understands the growing problems caused by the shortage of physicians, nurse practitioners and dentists in many medically underserved communities across the nation. We are pleased that the proposed budget would add 400 positions to the National Health Service Corps.
The president again has focused attention and budgetary support on developing an effective and efficient system to apply the latest information technology to patient records. This is essential to ensuring patient safety, better care and cost reductions.
We urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support programs that encourage labor and management to work together on the design and implementation of these computerized records systems.
The president’s budget plan also includes much-needed additional Medicaid funding to help states maintain access to care for low-income patients.
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The AFT represents more than 1.4 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.