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California Nurses Association Against Governor Newsom’s Controversial Move By Signing S.B 700

California Nurses Association has described a situation they termed an act of betrayal and unnecessary by Gov. Newsom who signed into law S.B 700 bill. The president of the Association, the State’s largest Union of registered nurses and fiercest advocate for single-payer health care RN. Sandy Reding decried this on behalf of the association.

SB770, a proposal that moved its way into legislature around June, this bill would direct the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency to research, develop, and pursue discussion of a waver framework in consultation with the Federal Government with the objective of a health care system that incorporates specific features and objectives, including, among others, a comprehensive package of medical behavioral health, Pharmaceutical, dental, and vision benefits, and the absence of cost sharing for essential services and treatments.

Nurses Association Reacts To S.B 700

The bill which was introduced by State Senator Scott Weiner, was said the bill would build on Gov. Newsom’s Healthy California for All Commission, many tangible and robust plans were outlined through which universal and more affordable healthcare plans could be achieved.

It was initially passed by the State Senate and State Assembly in September, it waited for Gov. Newsom’s signature since then, which was finally passed.

Nurses Association Reacts

The signing of this bill received unpopular attention from the Nurses Association which they described as unnecessary and provocative.

Speaking through the Association president Sandy Reding released a statement condemning the endorsement of the bill, in his statement, he described the green light given to the bill as unfortunate and a possible letdown in the nurse’s battle for a single-payer health care policy, what he described as a battle that is poised to achieve health equity for our patients and communities. 

In what seems as an opposing view to the bill, the author of the bill Sen. Scott Weiner believes California has the ability to establish a system of guaranteed healthcare for all and provide better care that costs less. SB 770 would make this potential a reality by establishing a specific statutory pathway for the pursuit of this goal.

The bill would require the Secretary no later than June 1, 2025, to complete drafting the waiver framework, make the draft available to the public on the agency’s internet website, and hold a 45-day public comment period thereafter.

Also, the bill would require the Secretary no later than November 1, 2025, to provide the legislature and the Governor with a report that communicates the finalized waiver framework, as specified, and sets forth the specific elements to be included in formal waiver application to establish a unified healthcare financing system as specified.

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As part of the California Nurses Association rebuttal claims, opposing statements were released:

“Besides showcasing a lack of political fortitude, S.B 770 squanders taxpayers’ resources substantially. It not only preserves the current state of affairs but also replicates the prior efforts of Healthy California for All Commission under the Newsom administration, with their final report completed as recently as the spring of 2022”

“It is predictable that the healthcare industry did not strongly oppose S.B 770. The unified financing system that CalHHS will propose does not necessarily ensure health care for all.”

“Nurses are acutely aware of the injustices and inefficiency inherent in a health care system that prioritizes profit over patients.”

“CNA nurses have spearheaded the drive to secure health care as a fundamental right for all Californians since 1994. Through determined efforts by nurses, the broader labor movement, and Community collaborators, there exists substantial public support for the enactment of single-payer health care.

With the endorsement of SB 770, the roughly 3.2 million uninsured Californians will continue to endure. Galvanized by Gov. Newsom’s betrayal, nurses are committed to persistent statewide mobilization to bolster the movement for Calcare.”

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