Single-Payer Health Care Legislation Wins Union Endorsement
The California Nurses Association on Wednesday announced its support of a bill (SB 840) that would create a single-payer health care system in California, the Oakland Tribune reports (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 3/16).
The bill, introduced by Sen. Sheila Kuehl (D-Los Angeles), would establish a state-run health insurance system -- including a state agency, commissioner and medical board -- to negotiate fees, set medical care policy and pay claims (California Healthline, 2/25/05).
The union also said it is supporting a national bill (HR 676) for universal health care, and plans to place a universal health care measure on the ballot by 2008.
CNA announced its support for a single-payer system during a reunion of about 300 nurses who traveled to the Gulf Coast to offer medical care to those affected by Hurricane Katrina (Oakland Tribune, 3/16). According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the "nurses said the Gulf Coast disaster dramatized what they viewed as an obvious need for change" in the U.S. health care system (Hall, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/16).