FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News From Michigan Nurses Association
Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012
Contact: Mitchell Rivard, (517) 227-5233, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan Nurses Challenge Congressman to Donate the Price of Admission for Fundraiser to Local Clinic Helping Families in Need
OKEMOS – Congressman Dan Benishek (R-Crystal Falls) is set to headline a $1,000 per person “Scotch and Cigars” PAC fundraiser Thursday night in Washington, D.C. The event is hosted by the One Nation PAC, which bills itself as a conservative political action committee dedicated to “common sense healthcare.” According to the invite for the event, attendees are entitled to “a cigar and an open selection of whiskey and wine.”
In response, the Michigan Nurses Association today called on Dr. Benishek to donate $1,000 – the price of admission to the reception – to a local health care clinic in Michigan’s first Congressional District that serves low-income and families unable to afford health care coverage.
“Just when you thought Dr. Benishek couldn’t be anymore out of touch with his constituents, he headlines a wine-and-dine fundraiser with Grover Norquist and Washington elites,” said John Karebian, executive director of the Michigan Nurses Association. “While millionaire surgeon Congressman Benishek is smoking cigars and downing whiskey with campaign donors in Washington, Michigan residents back home continue to struggle to pay for basic necessities such as their medical bills.
“Michigan nurses believe that Dr. Benishek should be in his district dealing with his constituents’ hardships, not constantly catering to the 1 percent. We’re calling on Dr. Benishek to donate his ticket price to a local health care clinic in Northern Michigan that is working to fill the void of Benishek’s absence – helping struggling families get the basic medical care they need.”
Benishek has shown time-and-time again he is out of touch with the struggles of every day Michigan residents. Last year, Dr. Benishek voted for the Ryan plan to dismantle Medicare and change it to a voucher-based system; increase the eligibility age; and increase out-of-pocket costs for 111,000 individuals in the First Congressional District between the ages of 44 and 54[i]. Benishek currently represents eight of the 10 counties in Michigan with the highest rate of uninsured residents.
“If residents of the first Congressional District could write four-figure checks, maybe Benishek would care about their concerns,” said Barb Davis, a registered nurse in Northern Michigan. “Instead, Dr. Benishek continues to rubs elbows with the wealthy and well-connected, putting lavish parties and campaign donors ahead of his constituents. The least Dr. Benishek can do is to donate his ticket price to a clinic that, like nurses, seeks to serve people in difficult times.”
The Michigan Nurses Association represents more than 1,400 registered nurses who live and work throughout Benishek’s district, including at Marquette General Hospital, Chippewa County War Memorial Hospital, and Alpena Regional Medical Center. MNA members are working to improve the quality of life for all in Michigan with their Main Street Contract for the American People, a nonpartisan campaign asking Benishek and other elected officials to put the interests of Michigan’s workers and families above those of the greedy Wall Street CEOs and corporations who crashed our economy.
The Main Street Contract supports priorities to rebuild our state and country, including jobs at living wages; quality education; guaranteed health care; secure retirement; good housing and protection from hunger; a safe and healthy environment; and a just taxation system where corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share, including a tax on financial transactions. More information is available at www.fightformainstreet.org.
The Michigan Nurses Association, www.minurses.org, represents more than 10,000 registered nurses across the state, advocating for them and their patients. Visit fightformainstreet.org for more information on their Michigan Main Street Campaign.