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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s War on Workers

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s War on Workers

Bruce Rauner's campaign for governor of Illinois hit a rough spot when it was revealed that he favored lowering the minimum wage. That's right, lowering. At a December, 2013, Republican campaign forum, the wealthy candidate declared that, "I will advocate moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage. I think we've got to be competitive here in Illinois. It's critical we're competitive. We're hurting our economy by having the minimum wage above the national. We've got to move back to the national." —John Nichols, The Nation, 02/10/15 More »

Right-to-Work Laws are Every Republican Union-Hater’s Weapon of Choice

Right-to-Work Laws are Every Republican Union-Hater’s Weapon of Choice

There are few crusades in American politics more quixotic than bashing unions. They are a threat that exists mostly in the imaginations of their opponents: an all-powerful, resurgent labor movement that scares investors and imperils the economy, despite representing just 11% of the US workforce. Right-to-work laws are their weapon of choice. —Michael Paarlberg, The Guardian , 02/10/15 More »

Senator Does Good But Must Pay Tribute

Senator Does Good But Must Pay Tribute

They covet office, and the prestige and power it provides. The opportunity to do good while doing well is one of the great privileges of public service. To win that privilege, however, politicians need money. Once elected, they get to make important, consequential decisions, but they must pay tribute to the interests that helped put them there. —Dan Morain, The Sacramento Bee, 02/09/15 More »

Community Health Systems to pay $75 million for alleged New Mexico Medicaid scheme

Community Health Systems to pay $75 million for alleged New Mexico Medicaid scheme

Investor-owned hospital chain Community Health Systems and three affiliated New Mexico hospitals will pay the federal government $75 million to settle allegations that they made illegal donations to county governments to reap more federal dollars under a now-discontinued matching program. —Lisa Schencker, ModernHealthCare.com, 02/05/15 More »

Verdugo Hills Hospital nurses bring their case to COO

Verdugo Hills Hospital nurses bring their case to COO

Disgruntled employees from USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital on Wednesday marched to the office of the hospital’s chief operating officer, Paul Czajka, where they delivered a community petition bearing as many as 1,300 signatures collected in Glendale, Montrose and La Cañada. —Sara Cardine, Glendale News Press, 02/05/15 More »

Unbought Slate Wins Against Democrats-for-Chevron

Unbought Slate Wins Against Democrats-for-Chevron

It's not often that a city council race in a city of 100,000 draws national attention. It happened in Richmond, California, this fall because one big corporation was so shameless in its open attempt to buy the election. —Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes, 02/04/15 More »

Populist Movement’s “Ground Zero”: The Effort To Reclaim Chicago

Populist Movement’s “Ground Zero”: The Effort To Reclaim Chicago

Since the midterm elections, the media has been buzzing about the growing schism between Wall Street Democrats and the populist wing of the party. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s recent victories give evidence for the idea that the populists are rising. With their eyes fixed on 2016, many are asking how we can stop a coronation and nominate a populist alternative to former Sen. Hillary Clinton for president. —Jacob Swenson-Lengyel, Campaign for America's Future, 02/04/15 More »

Medical Debt Still a Problem Under Health Law — Despite Protections

Medical Debt Still a Problem Under Health Law — Despite Protections

In 2013, medical debt was the largest cause of personal bankruptcy – 1.7 million people lived in households experiencing bankruptcy because of health costs. But the law hasn’t eliminated the problem. Many states haven’t expanded Medicaid and even those with insurance can rack up big bills, a problem exacerbated by the growing number of plans with high deductibles. —Shefali Luthra, Kaiser Health News, 02/04/15 More »

EPA should strengthen the standards for clean air

EPA should strengthen the standards for clean air

When I was just starting as a nurse, I had a patient that had never touched a cigarette but struggled daily with the simple act of breathing. Her health issues were not because of her ancestors, poor decisions or back luck; it was because she lived near polluting oil refineries. —Heather Albright, RN, Sacramento Bee, 02/03/15 More »

Let Prime Healthcare buy Daughters of Charity’s hospitals

Let Prime Healthcare buy Daughters of Charity’s hospitals

Dughters of Charity Health System, a Catholic nonprofit that operates six hospitals primarily for poor and elderly Californians, is reaching the last bead on its fiscal rosary. The chain is losing money at an alarming rate and wants to sell itself to Prime Healthcare Services, but prominent Democrats and a powerful union have called on Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris to block the deal. —The Times Editorial Board, Los Angeles Times, 02/02/15 More »

International Nurse News Round-Up

International Nurse News Round-Up

See a collection of links to news stories about nurses in other nations, and how they are advocating for their patients. —Global Nurses United, 01/30/15 More »

Flu fills up Worcester hospital beds; nurses say staffing not safe

Flu fills up Worcester hospital beds; nurses say staffing not safe

WORCESTER — Elective surgeries at UMass Memorial Medical Center were canceled a week ago because no hospital beds were available for patients, in or out of the UMass Memorial network. Over the holidays, the UMass Memorial pediatric intensive care unit was closed for a few days because it was full. —Susan Spencer, Telegram.com, 01/22/15 More »

Brigham Shooting Sheds New Light on Hospital Violence Legislation

Brigham Shooting Sheds New Light on Hospital Violence Legislation

It's a level of preparedness that some in the medical community said is not consistent at every hospital in the state, and the incident has shed new light on recently filed legislation that seeks to mandate training around workplace violence at every health care facility in the state. —Jessica Bartlett, Boston Business Journal, 01/22/15 More »

18,000 California Nurses Win Stronger Patient Care, Workplace Protections in New Kaiser Pact

18,000 California Nurses Win Stronger Patient Care, Workplace Protections in New Kaiser Pact

ome 18,000 California registered nurses, members of the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United (CNA/NNU), who work at 86 Kaiser Permanente hospitals and clinics are voting this week on a new contract. The agreement, reached after months of negotiations, will give the RNs a stronger voice on patient care and provides breakthrough improvements in workplace protections. —Mike Hall, AFL-CIO, 01/21/15 More »

Nurses Want Solution to ‘Epidemic’ of Workplace Violence

Nurses Want Solution to ‘Epidemic’ of Workplace Violence

Members of the National Nurses United union are joining a growing number of industry voices that decry the increasing amount of violence that healthcare workers face on a daily basis, reports ABC News' Tampa, Florida, affiliate. —Leslie Small, FierceHealthcare, 01/15/15 More »

Nurses Rally Saying Workplace Violence is an Epidemic

Nurses Rally Saying Workplace Violence is an Epidemic

National Nurses United wants lawmakers to force all hospitals to implement policies that protect healthcare workers from violence. The union calls violence towards nurses in hospitals an epidemic. —ABC News, 01/14/15 More »

Our Perspective: How Simplifying Financing Can Cut Costs in US Healthcare

Our Perspective: How Simplifying Financing Can Cut Costs in US Healthcare

A Simplified financing system in the U.S. could result in cost savings exceeding $350 billion annually, nearly 15% of health care spending —BMC Health Services Research, 01/13/15 More »

Our Perspective: “Wellness” Based Healthcare is a Scam

Our Perspective: “Wellness” Based Healthcare is a Scam

"Wellness" programs have long been oversold as a mechanism to improve health in the workplace, the alleged reason why they were encouraged in the Affordable Care Act. But NNU has long viewed them as scheme, heavily promoted by corporate employers, whose real purpose was to promote the growing practice of health coverage cost shifting from employers to workers, including nurses. —Reuters, 01/13/15 More »

A New Study Shows Why Obamacare Should Have Been Single-Payer

A New Study Shows Why Obamacare Should Have Been Single-Payer

A single-payer system akin to the Medicare program or Canada's national healthcare. The study found that the $375 billion saved annually with a single-payer system could be used to cover all of the nation's uninsured and upgrade coverage for millions of under-insured citizens. —Sarah Kollmorgen, New Republic, 01/13/15 More »

As Top Democrats Embrace a Robin Hood Tax, It’s Time for Activists to Go Big

As Top Democrats Embrace a Robin Hood Tax, It’s Time for Activists to Go Big

Americans who are serious about addressing income inequality have long recognized that the United States needs a Robin Hood Tax – a charge on financial transactions proposed by campaigners who have argued since the Wall Street meltdown of 2008 that “banks, hedge funds and the rest of the financial sector should pay their fair share to clear up the mess they helped create.” —John Nicholson, The Nation, 01/12/15 More »

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