Minnesota nurses protest


Nurses attending the Minnesota Nurses Association’s annual meeting rallied at the Capitol against Governor Pawlenty’s veto of funding for the General Assistance Medical Care program (GAMC).

Robert Fischer is a former GAMC Recipient;

“I was a successful business owner up in Duluth.  I had a major health crisis, and there was some serious crisis with my businesses. We ended up losing the house and we ended up losing the businesses.  And we were actually the victim of an equity scam.  We lost $130,000  in our equity and we found out… we walked into the office fully expecting to get a check so we could get an apartment and da la lah.  Well, that wasn’t forthcoming.  We went into the office.  They had roses on all the desks.  They were drinking Dom Perinon and they were saying, you know, ‘see ya’.  We snapped psychologically.  I just gave up. 

After what happened with the business and how ruthless people can be sometimes, my wife and I both just gave up.  And what happened is I floundered for about three years and finally I got a place to stay, a place to live.  I could actually have a base in which I could clean, take a shower.  I mean, to live a human life again.  And at that point I started into dealing with my health issues and I’ve rebounded.  I’ve just started a new business. I’m on my feet again. This would have never happened without GAMC.”

Stephanie Wells is a Registered Nurse at Hennepin County Medical Center.

“I am concerned about the hospital that I work in. HCMC really provides, it’s been providing.. it’s a safety net hospital.  And we probably get more GAMC patients than a lot of other institutions. It will be devastating to us to have that money gone.”

Douglas Mitchell is the Associate Paster at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis.

“The religious communities in this state recognize that those who are poor are singled out in our sacred text, but they are singled out for greater care, not for particular harm.  So to balance the budget on the backs of those who are the most vulnerable and have the most need for care simply flies in the face of what the justice is called for by the Protestant Catholic Jewish and Muslim communities that are represented by the joint religious coalition