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California county proceeding with purchase of hospitals despite state's opposition

Santa Clara County will move forward with the purchase of O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Calif., and Gilroy-based St. Louise Regional Hospital despite California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's efforts to block the sale, according to The Mercury News.

Verity Health System is selling the hospitals due to its August bankruptcy filing, though Mr. Becerra is opposing the sale until the county agrees to conditions that would not change the level of care the safety-net hospitals offer the community.

These conditions were laid out by former California attorney general and U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, though the county argues they are not applicable because other regulations already outline care quality standards. On Feb. 22, a federal judge is set to hear Mr. Becerra's appeal to block the sale.

Over 90 percent of nurses from the two hospitals voted last week to authorize a strike because the sale would force them to be represented by the county's Registered Nurses Professional Association rather than the California Nurses Association that represents them now and offers higher wages.

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