Health Care Reform Motivates Nurses’ Union To Join AFL-CIO
The California Nurses Association and its national arm, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, on Monday joined the AFL-CIO as part of an effort to bolster the campaign for a universal health care system nationwide, the Sacramento Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 5/22).
The AFL-CIO is the nation's largest umbrella labor organization, consisting of 10 million members. Including nurses represented by CNA and its national arm, AFL-CIO includes 325,000 registered nurses as members of the federation (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 5/21).
CNA nurse delegates in September 2005 voted to apply for an AFL-CIO charter but made the affiliation conditional on AFL-CIO supporting a single-payer health care system (Raine, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/22).
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of CNA, said, "You can't achieve a national health care system without the labor movement." She added, "It's never happened in any country" (Russakoff, Washington Post, 5/22).
CNA supports a single-payer health insurance system and has lined up behind Sen. Sheila Kuehl's (D-Los Angeles) bill (SB 840) in California and HR 676 by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) at the national level (Sacramento Business Journal, 5/21).