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Vital Signs: Medicaid programs also a casualty of last night’s surprise vote, angry advocates say

Once again, Medicaid seems forgotten as another wave of protests and media stories rocks the Capitol. Last night's surprise vote by GOP lawmakers pushing a pared down version of the so-called budget repair bill through a hastily convened conference meeting and a rapid approval by the Senate to what now seems to be almost definite passage as early as this morning impacts not just collective bargaining rights in the state, but the health care and benefits of nearly 1.2 million Wisconsin residents in the public health programs. —The Capital Times, 03/10/11 More »

Don’t Believe the Hype: Worker solidarity can win economic justice

There’s a joke circulating around the Internet that goes something like this: A corporate CEO, a union member and a tea partier are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. The CEO takes 11 cookies and wolfs them down. Then he turns to the tea partier and says, “Watch out for that union guy. He wants part of your cookie.” It’s a joke that has billionaires like the Koch Brothers—who fund tea party groups through Americans for Prosperity—and their errand boys Dick Armey of Freedom Works and Karl Rove of American Crossroads laughing all the way to the bank. —The Source Weekly, 03/09/11 More »

What Michael Moore ‘Gets’ About Wisconsin… and America

What Michael Moore ‘Gets’ About Wisconsin… and America

"You will live in the history books!” Michael Moore shouted from the rotunda of the state Capitol to the thousands of Wisconsin workers, teachers and their allies who had come Saturday to protest against Governor Scott Walker’s assault on public sector unions and public services. Speaking without a microphone, in a voice that was worn but enthusiastic after addressing tens of thousands of protesters outside the Capitol, Moore. —The Nation, 03/09/11 More »

Citing Unstable Staffing, D.C. Nurses Strike

Citing Unstable Staffing, D.C. Nurses Strike

Nurses at D.C.’s Washington Hospital Center took a one-day strike Friday to protest short staffing and compensation cuts. Hospital administration said they will lock out the 1,600 nurses, represented by the National Nurses United, for four additional days. The union estimated that MedStar, the nonprofit chain that owns Washington Hospital Center, will spend $5 million to lock its nurses out. —Labor Notes, 03/04/11 More »

Anthem To Raise Premiums While Making Huge Profits

Anthem To Raise Premiums While Making Huge Profits

Anthem Blue Cross spent $2 million lobbying the California legislature and another $1.6 million on campaign contributions between 2009 and 2010. It lobbied the Department of Managed Health Care, the Department of Insurance and the Governor's office regarding health insurance regulations. In particular, Anthem spent a significant amount of time lobbying against SB1163, a piece of legislation that gave the state the power to review premium increases. —KCET, 03/04/11 More »

Barred From the Job Until Wednesday, Striking Washington Hospital Center Nurses Take to Irving St.

Barred From the Job Until Wednesday, Striking Washington Hospital Center Nurses Take to Irving St.

With negotiations stalled, striking nurses at Washington Hospital Center today took to Irving Street NW, picketing the region's largest hospital. Wearing red scrubs, the color of National Nurses United, several hundred protesters held signs and chanted slogans, angry over a cut in pay and what they say is dangerous understaffing. —Washington City Paper, 03/04/11 More »

Nurses At D.C.‘s Largest Hospital Go On Strike

Nurses At D.C.‘s Largest Hospital Go On Strike

Hundreds of registered nurses from Washington Hospital Center, the city's largest hospital, were marching down Irving Street this morning, chanting "Up with the nurses, down with the bosses." —WAMU 88.5, 03/04/11 More »

Cigna sued on claims of gender bias — Manager says her pay, title reduced

A Boston Cigna HealthCare employee is seeking $100 million in damages in a lawsuit that alleges the company systematically discriminates against women. —Boston Globe, 03/04/11 More »

1 in 5 Patients at California ERs Leaves Without Being Seen

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Upwards of one-fifth of patients who seek care at one of California's hospital emergency departments leave before being seen by anyone, new research reveals. —HealthDay, 03/04/11 More »

LePage budget brings out hundreds of union workers in protest

AUGUSTA, Maine — Hundreds of public employees, retirees and union members have gathered at the State House for the first day of hearings on the portions of Gov. Paul LePage’s budget that affect state workers. Testifying at around 12:30 p.m., LePage said there are currently more than 52,000 current retirees or state workers eligible for retirement within the next decade. —Bangor Daily News, 03/02/11 More »

EMMC’s nurses still fighting for adequate staffing

Nurses from EMMC have had to strike over patient safety and safe staffing — so why haven’t EMMC and the EMHS board of directors listened? For the past eight months we’ve had hundreds of nurses telling the community that because of staffing shortages, nurses at EMCC cannot consistently provide their patients adequate care. —Bangor Daily News, 02/22/11 More »

Children’s Hospital Oakland fined for safety violations

State regulators fined Children's Hospital Oakland $10,350 on Tuesday for safety violations that include inadequately protecting employees from violence in its emergency department. The hospital has had several dramatic incidents in recent months, noted the Cal-OSHA citation. —Contra Costa Times, 02/22/11 More »

Wisconsin Democrats flee state to block passage of anti-union bill

A group of Wisconsin lawmakers blocked passage of a sweeping anti-union bill Thursday by ignoring orders to attend a vote. Instead, they left the state to force Republicans to negotiate over the proposal. —Associated Press, 02/17/11 More »

Cold Day in Hell Arrives for Patients

When I saw the cut to the low income energy assistance programs proposed by President Obama in his budget, I knew that meant more energy/utility shut-off notices for people already struggling all over the United States. The cold day in hell has arrived for many patients and many caregivers who already find their budgets bursting from the costs of healthcare insurance, co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket medical expenses, and their bank accounts strained from the loss of income and unemployment that has marked recent months for millions and millions of people. —GuaranteedHealthcare.org, 02/16/11 More »

Student nurses protest in Dublin

Over 3,000 student nurses and midwifes have taken part in a rally at the Department of Health in Dublin today in protest at Government plans to phase-out and ultimately eliminate payments for their mandatory 36-week placement in hospitals. —Irish Times, 02/16/11 More »

Hospitals remove beds from corridors after nurses protest

Hospitals reduced the number of beds in their internal medicine departments on Tuesday, so none of them would have more than 120-percent occupancy.

The Health Ministry’s policy change resulted from protests last month by the Nurses Union, which threatened not to admit any patients to the departments if they had to lie on beds in corridors, and that they would walk out of their jobs if this occurred. —Jerusalem Post, 02/16/11 More »

More Than 10,000 Protest Move By Wisconsin’s “Dictator” Governor to Destroy Public-Sector Unions

More than 10,000 Wisconsinites marched on the state Capitol Tuesday, as crowds rallied in cities around the state, students walked out of high schools and public employees lined roadways holding aloft banners declaring their determination to battle an attempt by Republican Governor Scott Walker to strip state workers of their collective bargaining rights and pack state government positions with political patronage appointees.   —The Nation, 02/15/11 More »

Nurses Say Staff Cuts Put Patients In Danger At Tufts Medical Center

The nurses at Tufts Medical Center say recent staff cuts are putting patients at risk, and they cite more than 520 reports of “incidents that jeopardized patient care in the last year.” Care is being dangerously compromised, they say, due to: “delays in nursing assessment, delays in the administration of medications and tests, nurses missing significant changes in patients’ health status…patients falling due to lack of assistance with getting up and moving around and patients being left in soiled beds for hours at a time.” —Commonhealth, 02/15/11 More »

Saving Social Security

By Senator Bernie Sanders - Social Security is the most successful social program in American history. It shouldn't be privatized; its benefits shouldn't be cut; and the retirement age shouldn't be raised.

 Before Social Security was established 75 years ago, more than half of our elderly population lived in poverty. Because of Social Security, the poverty figure for seniors today is less than 10%. —Los Angeles TImes, 02/14/11 More »

A ‘Dictator’ Governor Sets Out to Cut Wages, Slash Benefits and Destroy Public Unions

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's proposal to strip public employees of most collective bargaining rights, cut pay and gut benefits without any negotiation [1] the most radical assault yet by the current crop of Republican governors on the rights of workers has inspired outrage in a historically progressive and pro-labor state. —The Nation, 02/13/11 More »

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