California Nurses Association Onboard With AFL-CIO
The California Nurses Association is affiliating with the AFL-CIO, the largest labor organization in the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports. AFL-CIO approved the charter on Thursday (Los Angeles Times, 3/10).
CNA officials announced the move on Friday, stressing that the alliance came two days after AFL-CIO endorsed a proposal for a single-payer health care system modeled on Medicare (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 3/9).
CNA Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro said that CNA has been lobbying in favor of single-payer initiatives -- HR 676 and SB 840 in California -- and that such legislation is consistent with AFL-CIO's proposal (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 3/9).
The charter will link AFL-CIO to 75,000 nurses represented by CNA and the National Nurses Organizing Committee, CNA's national affiliate. As a result of the charter with CNA, AFL-CIO members include 325,000 registered nurses (San Francisco Business Times, 3/9).
The Los Angeles Times on Sunday interviewed Service Employees International Union President Andrew Stern, an "outspoken and unconventional" supporter of "health care changes to guarantee coverage for all while reining in costs."
Stern said, "It seems impossible to imagine how you can have an employer-based health care system with the incredible creative destruction and change in the nature of work in our economy," adding, "It's not an ideological issue; it's really just a practical, real-life, 21st-century issue." According to Stern, although a single-payer health care system "would be the most efficient," the U.S. likely will not implement such a system because residents do not "feel comfortable that government's going to solve their problems" (Alonso-Zaldivar, Los Angeles Times, 3/11).