Nurses Union Supports Single Payer Health Care Bill

April 2009

Union’s state secretary testifies to California Senate Health Committee in support of SB 810 as the ideal option for achieving universal health care for all Californians

Sacramento, CA – The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals (UNAC/UHCP) State Secretary, Barbara Blake, RN, will testify at the Senate Health Committee this Wednesday, April 15, in support of SB 810 – single payer health care legislation – as the best option for decreasing costs and increasing health care for all Californians.

Joining several other California-based health care organizations, Blake will urge state senators to pass SB 810, which would create a new and cost effective system of universal health care coverage in California.

“There is a significant gap in access to health care for many Californians,” stated Blake. “UNAC/UHCP advocates any effort to provide efficient, high quality, universal health care for all. Single payer health care reform is the ideal option for achieving this goal."

SB 810 will create a public agency that will provide comprehensive health care insurance to all California residents and create the California Universal Healthcare Agency. The new agency will replace several existing programs such as Medi-Cal, Medicare, Healthy Families, other government programs, and most private and employer-based health insurance. The cost of the new system will be more cost effective than the programs it will replace and will cover an additional six million Californians currently without coverage.

“The cost of health care increases tremendously when people decide to wait to receive care because they can’t afford it,” Blake said. “Any step we take to reducing health care costs, including ensuring that all Californians have access to necessary health care, will have a positive impact on the California state budget and the health and well-being of all Californians.”

The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals represents 16,000 nurses and other health care professionals. UNAC/UHCP, as the association is known, is affiliated with the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO. For more information on, visit www.unac-ca.org.

# # #