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Hundreds Rally

Hundreds rally to support AB 1400.

Organized by the California Nurses Association in 18 cities statewide, hundreds of nurses, patients, healthcare advocates rallied and caravanned supporting the passage of Assembly Bill 1400 April 18.

The bill would provide free medical care of all descriptions, dental, vision and prescriptions for every resident in the state.

We nurses will fight day and night aside all of you to ensure Californians have the healthcare they need.

Opening the rally, CNA Board of Directors member and nurse, Tinny Abogado said “We nurses will fight day and night aside all of you to ensure Californians have the healthcare they need. Our current system is profits over life. 12 million Californians are underinsured with disproportionate impacts on Black, Latinx, and native peoples. We fight the insurance companies and for passage of AB 1400 to guarantee universal health coverage.”

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The diversity of the speakers and geographical scope was reflected in Harbor UCLA Medical Center worker and respiratory therapist Reron Paulino who explained that “We are committed to giving the best coverage possible. We do not consider patient’s ability to pay, but our ability to deliver the highest quality medical care. Passage of AB 1400 will help do that.”

“When this bill passes,” added Mari Lopez, Community Organizer, CNA, there will be no need for private insurance companies, which have consistently denied people the care they need. Healthcare is a human right.”

“How organized we are as a movement throughout the state, will determine our success. We nurses see patients unable to afford lifesaving care and private companies refuse to pay. We need to prioritize nurses and patients over profits,” added CNA activist Stephanie Roberson.

The keynote speaker was Ada Briceno, copresident of UNITE HERE Local 11. Amidst cheering and honking, she said that the “pandemic demonstrates the need for California law, more than ever to provide healthcare for millions who lost health coverage thru job losses in the state. This is the only industrialized country without national healthcare as a human right. 80% of our union members are still out of work. We are fighting all the employers to keep coverage; under this profit driven system. They are not rehiring our workers. Bargaining for healthcare has become the biggest issue, the biggest cause of lockouts and strikes. By strengthening the labor movement, focusing on organizing and fighting on-site discrimination, instead of large health care, employer expenditures, money can be put into wages, childcare and benefits.”

climate

East LA is seeing a fight to keep open the Sakura residence center which Pacifica Corporation is trying to close and expel the 50 older Japanese residents. “This is a movement for self-defense, against corporate thugs; Cal care will do that,” Cheng-Sim Lin told the caravan.

Mark Friedman