Nurses condemn California Assembly committee for failing to pass CalCare

California Nurses Association
May 16, 2024

Despite lawmakers blocking A.B. 2200, nurses will not give up until CalCare guarantees health care as a human right in California.
Sacramento, CA – California Nurses Association members condemned the California State Assembly Appropriations Committee for capitulating to corporate health care and failing to pass A.B. 2200, the California Guaranteed Health Care for All Act, also known as CalCare, at a time when public health programs are being drastically cut and a comprehensive, high-quality single payer program would be many Californians’ only lifeline for care. Nurses remain relentless in their pursuit to guarantee health care as a human right in the state.
“We nurses never give up on our patients,” said Cathy Kennedy, RN and president of the California Nurses Association. “We have fought for decades to ensure that health care is a human right for all of our patients, regardless of ability to pay, and we have no plans to stop now. This is our life’s work. Legislators say they support single-payer, but do not back up their words with action.”
Today’s vote is out of touch with the broader public’s support for CalCare. The coalition of organizations that have endorsed the legislation is larger than ever, with 250 organizations endorsing CalCare in 2024, including labor allies such as the California Teachers Association (CTA), UAW Region 6, the California School Employees Association (CSEA), UNITE HERE Local 11, the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), California Faculty Association (CFA), and the California Labor Federation. Unions directly endorsing CalCare represent over one million workers. The legislation was also endorsed by the California Labor Federation, which collectively represents 2.3 million workers.
“During hard economic times, CalCare is needed more than ever. Today’s setback is frustrating, but only temporary in our long-term campaign to pass CalCare,” said Sandy Reding, RN and president of the California Nurses Association. “CalCare is not a matter of if, it’s when. CalCare has to happen.”
The movement for Calcare built major momentum for 2024, allying with organizations to hold 150+ canvass events, collect over 35,000 petition signatures, and hold multiple huge statewide Days of Action.
“Along with our broad coalition support, nurses are in this fight for the long haul,” said Michelle Gutierrez Vo, RN and president of California Nurses Association. “Nurses fight for justice every day while advocating for their patients, so if any one knows how to take on the health care industry, it’s nurses. We won’t back down.”
California Nurses Association/National Nurses United is the largest and fastest-growing union and professional association of registered nurses in the nation with 100,000 members in more than 200 facilities throughout California and nearly 225,000 RNs nationwide.