NURSE STAFFING RATIOS: Sac Bee Dismisses ‘Formulaic Approach’
A strongly worded editorial in yesterday's Sacramento Bee speculates that with AB 394, the nursing home staffing bill, Gov. Davis faces a "far more radical proposa[l] than the Legislature dared to send his predecessor." The California Nurses Association-sponsored bill would apply nurse-to-patient staffing ratio requirements to the entire hospital, not just intensive care, neonatal units and operating rooms, as is currently the case. The Bee criticizes the bill's rigid focus on numbers and arbitrary designation of a "one-size-fits-all hospital solution." The "important question here," the paper says, "is not whether nursing is needed inside hospitals, or whether mistakes happen inside hospitals. The question posed by AB 394 is whether legislators propose to take a simplistic, costly formulaic approach to answering complex nursing question." The piece urges Gov. Davis to apply his "sense of cost-consciousness" to the nursing measure "and other overreaching and costly health care bills" pending in the Legislature. If he doesn't bring some moderation, the paper warns, he will "need to veto measures that would dangerously drive up costs that consumers -- an estimated 50,000 of whom lose their health insurance in California every month as it is -- simply can't afford" (6/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.