SAN DIEGO - A day before the official opening here of the 2016 winter meeting of the AFL-CIO's executive council, RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the National Nurses Union, told the Peoples World that for her union, for now at least, it's "Bernie or Bust."
Although she didn't rule out switching to Clinton if Sanders loses the nomination, she said, "Bernie is so much labor's candidate and is so much loved by the nurses that I don't want to think about that possibility. Nurses see and work with people when they are their most vulnerable so Hillary's position on single payer health insurance is a real problem for them."
Sanders himself, of course, has thought beyond the primaries and has repeatedly stressed the importance of unity in the fight to defeat the Republicans in November.
DeMoro described with great enthusiasm the Bernie buses that have been going around the country since early January with the slogan 'The Most Trusted Profession Trusts Bernie' emblazoned on them.
NNU Co-President Deborah Burger, RN, has also released a statement on the union's website saying, "Bernie Sanders best represents nurses' values of caring, compassion and community," and DeMoro continues to echo that statement here in San Diego.
Clinton made a serious strategic error in not supporting single payer health insurance, DeMoro said because "at least 29 million people have no insurance and would be left to fend for themselves." No one should be allowed to call themselves a Democrat if they are against the effort for single payer healthcare, she said. "Politicians need to pay a price when they betray humanitarian standards."
Although the AFL-CIO will be holding off on an official presidential endorsement, DeMoro says the majority of the rank and file members are for Sanders, and that she viewed the wait to officially endorse as a positive for the Sanders campaign.
"There's a passion for Bernie," she noted, citing the results of a recent survey by the nurses union- conducted three times for accuracy- that showed a majority support for Sanders. Despite the recent conversations around the elections of how women may be more partial to Clinton in hopes of electing the first woman president in hopes of electing the first woman president, DeMoro stated that her majority female member union simply "wants to care for their patients, and aren't corrupted by the political process."
DeMoro said that if Sanders gets the nomination the country would be able to finally have an "authentic debate" on the issues. She proclaimed, "We want someone who will fight for us... Bernie is one hundred percent labor."
Photo: #BernieBus for National Nurses United