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Healers in Arms

California nurses suit up for a fight.


Anne Mwangi

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Amy Erb

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Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto

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Maureen Dugan

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Michelle Gutierrez Vo

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Lady Rainsard

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Deb Quinto

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Jane Sandoval

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Roxana Rodriguez

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How many nurses does it take to pass a single-payer healthcare system? Answer: How many ya got?

Some 500 members of the California Nurses Association, nine of whom are pictured in the slideshow above, showed up at a rally in Yerba Buena Gardens on September 22 to support California State Senate Bill 562, which had already stalled in the state assembly. (The CNA returned to Sacramento last week for another rally in support of single-payer healthcare.)

 The red-smocked nurses aren’t giving up on the fight for California to become the first state in the nation to guarantee universal health insurance for all. Speakers at the event included Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, who told attendees that he’d lead the campaign for single-payer should he win his 2018 race for governor, and Senator Bernie Sanders, whose “Medicare for All” bill would create a federal version of the legislation.

“More and more people are realizing that this current healthcare that they’re paying huge amounts of money for is not working,” says Michelle Gutierrez Vo, a registered nurse at Kaiser who serves on the CNA board. “As nurses we can assess our patients. That’s our expertise. And when we see what their needs are, we fight for it.”


Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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