Field Poll: California Nurses Association Most Favorably Viewed Group in Healthcare Arena

OAKLAND, Calif., May 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With talk of a new effort to enact healthcare reform surfacing in Sacramento, a new field poll this week illustrates that Californians will once again pay particular attention to the voice of the California Nurses Association and registered nurses.

A poll this week by the influential Field Institute released documented that CNA had the highest favorable rating of all the groups, politicians, and institutions engaged in the healthcare debate that dominated much of the state's public policy debate over the past year.

The public gave CNA and nurses an overall approval rating of 53 per cent and a disapproval rating of just 15 percent, for a net of 38 percent -- in sharp contrast to other central figures in the healthcare policy fight -- particularly the health insurance industry which scored an abysmal 55 percent negative rating.

CNA and its national affiliate, the National Nurses Organizing Committee, have gained increasing recognition as a national leader in the battle for comprehensive, universal, guaranteed healthcare for all through a single-payer or Medicare-for-all type system.

In California, CNA is the principle sponsor of SB 840, a bill by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, to achieve that goal, and national legislation, HR 676, by Rep. John Conyers, which has more cosponsors than any other national healthcare bill.

CNA/NNOC is also well known for its assertive challenge to the insurance industry and spirited campaigns to demand insurers provide care to individual patients denied needed medical treatment recommended by their physicians, as in the nationally prominent cases of Nataline Sarkisyan and Nick Colombo.

"We are honored that CNA and nurses are held in such high esteem by Californians," said Malinda Markowitz, RN, member of the CNA/National Nurses Organizing Committee's Council of Presidents.

"CNA and RNs have an unflagging commitment to public safety and assuring enactment of comprehensive, genuine healthcare reform that ends the growing crisis our patients and our communities face daily. What the public seems to know is that we refuse to be compromised by narrow interests or approaches that reward the insurance industry at the expense of public safety, and guaranteed quality healthcare for all," she said.

CNA and RNs, Markowitz added, "will never cease our fight for genuine reform." This year, CNA/NNOC will continue to urge action on SB 840, a Medicare-for-all style reform, sponsored by State Sen. Sheila Kuehl.

In the interim, CNA/NNOC is actively campaigning for SB 1459 by State Sen. Leland Yee that would expand access to existing public health programs for 200,000 uninsured children and 170,000 adults.

The Field Poll demonstrated the growing concern of Californians for genuine reform with more Californians than ever worried about losing coverage, having their policies cancelled when they are sick, or being unable to afford care.

Further, the poll showed the number of Californians favoring government-provided care growing, findings that resonate with numerous national surveys. For example, a March 2007 New York Times/CBS News Poll found that that 64 per cent of Americans believe the government should guarantee health coverage to all.

A December 2007 Associated Press/Yahoo poll found 65 percent of those polled said the United States should adopt universal health insurance that covers everyone under a program such as Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers. And 54 percent went where politicians dare not tread, saying they supported a "single-payer" health system whereby all Americans would get their health coverage from a single government plan financed by taxpayers.

SOURCE California Nurses Association

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