California Nurses Association Sponsors Advertisement Responding to Schwarzenegger Decision on State Staffing Rules
The Sacramento Bee on Thursday published an analysis of a television advertisement by the California Nurses Association that criticizes Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) decision to delay changes to state nurse staffing rules (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 2/3). The San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday also looked at the ad (Matier/Ross, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2).
Under current state law, nurses may care for no more than six patients at one time. Schwarzenegger in November 2004 delayed until January 2008 the implementation of a law -- passed under former Gov. Gray Davis (D) and scheduled to take effect this month -- that will require nurses to be responsible for the care of no more than five patients at one time (California Healthline, 1/19).
The ad features footage of a speech by Schwarzenegger, during which he referred to nurses who were protesting the event as "special interests." The ad also features three nurses who said they felt insulted by the governor's comments and noted his policies could lead to reduced access to care for patients (Sacramento Bee, 2/3). The ad was produced at no cost to CNA by documentary maker Robert Greenwald (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2).
The ad aired Wednesday in Washington, D.C., and New York during A&E Television's broadcast of a movie about Schwarzenegger's 2003 campaign for governor. The ad will air through the next week on cable channels in major state markets.
According to the Bee, the ad is CNA's "attempt to persuade the public that keeping fewer nurses on duty will affect the quality of hospital care for everyone" (Sacramento Bee, 2/2). According to the Chronicle, the ad "depict[s] the self-proclaimed reformer as just another tool of the monied interests" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2).
However, the nurses in the ad do not "fully explain" the issue, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 2/2).
CNA head Rose Ann DeMoro said the group bought national time for the ad because Schwarzenegger has looked to fund his initiatives with money from out-of-state contributors.
Rob Stutzman, a spokesperson for the governor, said, "We expect special interests to spend money against us this year," adding, "We have to keep the focus on making sure health care is available -- and that means hospitals need to be open" (San Francisco Chronicle, 2/2).
The Bee analysis includes a transcript of the ad (Sacramento Bee, 2/3).