Taking nurses from the poor for the rich
Other perspectives on the meaning of the provision have been coming in lately. This week's editorial in The Lancet criticizes the provision as unjust, both in its effects on health care systems in the developing world and its role in maintaining the status quo of underpaying nurses in the United States. The shortage of nurses in developing countries is exponentially greater than that of the United States, and 'in-sourcing' nurses from resource-poor countries just perpetuates the domestic trend of underpaying nursing staff. It is a painful irony that the same Senate that sponsors US-funded global initiatives against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria is willing to support a provision that will help to undercut those efforts. As Holly Burkhalter of Physicians for Human Rights puts it: "We're pouring water in a bucket with a hole in it, and we drilled the hole."