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Hundreds of nurses from the UMass Memorial Medical Center system staged a boisterous rally and demonstration in front of the Belmont Street Memorial campus yesterday to protest what they contend are unsafe staffing levels, hospital demands for pay and benefit cuts and the planned closing of a medical-surgical unit at Memorial. —Telegram and Gazette, 10/14/10 More »

U.S., California probe Prime Healthcare

A Southern California hospital chain known for aggressive billing practices and cost-cutting is being investigated by state and federal authorities for an unusually high rate of life-threatening infections among its older patients. —Los Angeles TImes, 10/12/10 More »

Nurses picket EMMC

Off-duty registered nurses covered by the union contract at Eastern Maine Medical Center picketed the hospital Monday. The purpose of the demonstration was "informational," according to Vanessa Sylvester of the Maine State Nurses Association, intended to raise public awareness of ongoing contract negotiations between the nurses and the hospital administration. —Bangor Daily News, 10/10/10 More »

US healthcare ‘to blame’ for poor life expectancy rates

The US healthcare system is to blame for declines in the country's life expectancy ranking, a study suggests. The Columbia University report rejects claims that factors such as obesity have shortened life-spans for Americans relative to other wealthy nations. —BBC, 10/09/10 More »

Health insurers throw support behind Republican candidates

The insurance industry is pouring money into Republican campaign coffers in hopes of scaling back wide-ranging regulations in the new healthcare law, while preserving the mandate that Americans buy coverage. Since January, the nation's five largest insurers and the industry's Washington-based lobbying arm have given three times more money to Republican lawmakers and political action committees than to Democrats. —Los Angeles TImes, 10/04/10 More »

Concerted effort to silence RNs

Assemblyman Curt Hagman's attack on registered nurses and our professional voice, the California Nurses Association, in a recent point of view (Sept. 23), and the bill he has sponsored to dictate what nurses are able to learn to better advocate for our patients, symbolize what is at stake for California patients and nurses in the November election. —Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, 10/03/10 More »

Nurses push for nurse-to-patient ratios

Nurses want minimum nurse-to-patient ratios to improve the quality and safety of patient care in NSW. Brett Holmes, general secretary of the NSW Nurses Association (NSWNA), on Monday said the reform had the backing of both public hospital and community healthcare nurses. —Sydney Morning Herald, 09/20/10 More »

Aetna gets OK to hike rates on individual health policies in California

The increase will average 19% and will take effect Oct. 1 along with double-digit hikes by Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield of California and Health Net that also had been reviewed by the Department of Insurance. More than 1 million Californians will see their health insurance premiums rise Oct. 1 now that regulators have wrapped up their review of a plan by Aetna Inc. to raise rates an average of 19% for 65,000 individual policyholders. —Los Angeles TImes, 09/17/10 More »

What They Could Be Saying to the Joe Miller Republicans

Republican candidates from coast to coast are fond of branding their opponents the Nancy Pelosi Democrats. Maybe it's time to talk about the Joe Miller Republicans. Miller is the Sarah Palin-backed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Alaska who toppled incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski because she was not conservative enough. Miller gained notoriety, in part, by proposing elimination of two of the most popular reforms in U.S. history, Social Security and Medicare, and calling unemployment insurance "unconstitutional". —Huffington Post, 09/07/10 More »

Wall Street sees a reliable partner in Whitman

Republican gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman was leading a triumphant rally at the state GOP convention last month when she announced that New Yorkers were excited about the California governor's race. At a fundraiser she held in New York, Whitman said she met with people who "have suffered the financial reforms that are going to crimp our ability to raise capital, and they want California to turn the corner." —Sacramento Bee, 09/07/10 More »

California regulators seek up to $9.9 billion in fines from PacifiCare

California regulators are seeking fines of up to $9.9 billion from health insurer PacifiCare over allegations that it repeatedly mismanaged medical claims, lost thousands of patient documents, failed to pay doctors what they were owed and ignored calls to fix the problems. —Los Angeles TImes, 09/07/10 More »

Sen. Bernie Sanders says “Hands off Social Security”

By Sen. Bernie Sanders: The White House deficit commission is reportedly considering deep benefit cuts for Social Security, including a steep rise in the retirement age. We cannot let that happen. The deficit and our $13 trillion national debt are serious problems that must be addressed. But we can — and must — address them without punishing America’s workers, senior citizens, the disabled, widows and orphans. —Politico, 09/01/10 More »

Will ‘Progressives’ Let Middle Class Burn to Prove Their Point?

When Anthem Blue Cross announced its controversial premium increases in California recently, the insurer claimed, "a carrier must be able to receive actuarially sound rates." So it is remarkable that "progressive" San Francisco State Senator Mark Leno, a single payer health care advocate, recently introduced eleventh hour legislation codifying Anthem Blue Cross's "actuarially sound" defense of premium increases in law. —Huffington Post, 08/31/10 More »

VA nurses protest work conditions

Fed up with what they say are forced 16-hour shifts and inadequate staffing, some registered nurses at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center are planning an informational picket Sept. 8. Augusta VA Director Rebecca J. Wiley said the facility has added RNs and is trying to work with them on staffing levels —The Augusta Chronicle, 08/31/10 More »

Whitman: Nurses’ suffrage rally a ‘distraction’

Hundreds of union members celebrating the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage rallied Thursday at the state capitol, holding signs that said "Women vote for women who vote" an attack on the state's first female Republican nominee for governor. The signs were criticizing the abysmal voting record of former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman, who has acknowledged that she failed to vote for most of her adult life. The rally was organized by the California Nurses Association, a vocal Whitman critic. —Associated Press, 08/27/10 More »

Nurses spotlight women’s right to vote and Whitman’s voting record

On Thursday, the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote, about 2,500 California nurses came to the Capitol to praise Susan B. Anthony and condemn Meg Whitman. The march and rally, featuring scores of women dressed in period costumes from the 1920s, was staged by the largely female California Nurses Association, ostensibly to celebrate the anniversary but, more pointedly, to call attention to the fact that for much of her adult life Whitman has not voted. —Ventura County Star, 08/26/10 More »

Thousands Of California Nurses Dressed As Sufragettes Protest Meg Whitman

More than 3,000 registered nurses -- joined by women's rights and labor activists -- are gathering in Sacramento on Thursday to protest California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman. The two-hour march begins at the Sacramento Convention Center at 4:00 p.m. PT and convenes two hours later at the steps of the state capital. Many of the participants will be wearing period costumes from the early 20th century. —Huffington Post, 08/26/10 More »

Wide Array of Women’s, Labor, Community Groups Join Nurses for Sacramento Suffrage Anniversary Aug

A growing cross section of California women’s, labor, and community groups will be joining thousands of registered nurses in Sacramento, Calif. August 26, to mark the 90th anniversary of women securing the right to vote with a modern day suffrage celebration. Participants will march, many in period costume, from the Sacramento Convention Center to a rally on the West Steps of the State Capitol. —Press Release, 08/16/10 More »

Executives at health insurance giants cash in as firms plan fee hikes

The top executives at the nation's five largest for-profit health insurance companies pulled in nearly $200 million in compensation last year — while their businesses prepared to hit ratepayers with double-digit premium increases, according to a new analysis conducted by healthcare activists. —Los Angeles TImes, 08/11/10 More »

Economists see flaws in Whitman’s policy proposals

Meg Whitman's economic policies are based on a flawed understanding of the challenges California faces, and the Republican gubernatorial nominee's proposals would make the state's troubles worse, according to an open letter to Californians signed by a group of mostly Democratic economists from throughout the state. —Los Angeles TImes, 08/10/10 More »

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