POLITICO's Pulse Check

Why 150,000 nurses are fighting for "Medicare for All"

Episode Summary

Bonnie Castillo, the leader of National Nurses United, explains why the largest nursing union in U.S. history has made Medicare for All a priority.

Episode Notes

The health care industry is trying to stop "Medicare for All." It's also a non-starter with Republicans, and some Democrats don't like it either.

But progressives who support single-payer can count on the muscle of one key constituency: Organized labor.

Bonnie Castillo, the head of National Nurses United, joined POLITICO's Dan Diamond to discuss why her 150,000-member-strong union has thrown its support behind Medicare for All, why she thinks the legislation would help patients and her members, and how her organization is setting strategy and viewing the 2020 election.


Activist Ady Barkan, who's testifying at this week's historic Medicare for All hearing, appeared on "Pulse Check" in December 2017, at an earlier stage of fighting ALS.

National Nurses United helped organize a Medicare for All protest outside of the headquarters of PhRMA, the drug lobby, on Monday.

Nursing unions have spent years pushing for policy priorities like nurse-to-patient ratios.