4:09 PM Eastern - Wednesday, April 4, 2012

RN Sally O'Neill: "Why we have the healthcare law--and why we must keep it." #the-healthcare-law

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As the Supreme Court listened to arguments on both sides regarding the Affordable Care Act last week, SEIU nurses and healthcare providers joined hundreds of activists outside the court to show solidarity and support for the landmark legislation.

Sally O'Neill, an RN and SEIU Healthcare 1199NW organizer, one of dozens of SEIU members who rallied in support of the Affordable Care Act, reflect on her experience:

Sally O'Neill RN.jpg"As we got closer to the Supreme Court, it was so exciting to see everyone with brightly colored T-shirts and signs: SEIU, NARAL, AFSCME, Planned Parenthood, Our DC, Consumer Reports -- folks came out from more than a dozen organizations. There were babies, toddlers, older men and women, middle-aged guys. Teenagers. All supporting the healthcare law.

"I am most proud of the fact that I came to our nation's Capital and to the Supreme Court for my patients, my family and my friends. And my union has been such a great part of this from the get-go. Not just supporting the law, but in helping our government figure out what makes sense.

"Last week on my Facebook wall there were so many messages from my friends, family and co-workers just saying how glad they were that I was here.

"What I know from my practice as a staff nurse of more than 30 years provides the backstory to the healthcare law: why we have it and why we must keep it. At this point in my career, I can vividly remember all the reasons that demonstrate how badly Americans need this law and why we must protect it.

"There were women out there in front of the Supreme Court older than me that I know have worked on these same issues of access and affordability for women and we are peers. And it's reassuring to see the people out there today in their 20's who will continue this fight."

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