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Ryan’s wrong — we need ‘Medicare for all’

House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan proposes to undermine the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, with an eye toward enriching the insurance companies that so generously fund his campaigns. —The Nation, 05/18/11 More »

Hospitals Eliminate 1 in 4 U.S. Emergency Rooms Since 1990, Study Finds

More than one in four U.S. emergency departments were closed in the past two decades, forcing the nation’s poor and elderly to seek care in fewer, more crowded facilities, researchers found. —Bloomberg News, 05/17/11 More »

U.S. Health Care Costs Per Family More Than Doubled In Nine Years, Report Finds

U.S. healthcare is so expensive that records are broken even when cost increases slow. According to a new report by Milliman, a global consulting and actuarial firm, the total cost of healthcare for the average family of four, if covered by a preferred provider organization, is now a record $19,393. —Hunffington Post, 05/16/11 More »

Single Payer Health: It’s Only Fair

By Senator Bernie Sanders — The United States is the only major nation in the industrialized world that does not guarantee healthcare as a right to its people. Meanwhile, we spend about twice as much per capita on healthcare and, in a wide number of instances, our outcomes are not as good as others that spend far less. —The Guardian/UK, 05/10/11 More »

Cut Medicare? No Way! Make It ‘Medicare for All’!

House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan [1], R-Wisconsin, proposes to undermine the integrity of the Medicare and Medicaid programs, with an eye toward enriching the insurance companies that so generously fund his campaigns. —The Nation, 05/10/11 More »

A Flashpoint for Union Rights and Health Care

As working-class people around the country brace for more budget cuts that, among other things, will further restrict their access to health care, the people providing that care have also been feeling the wrath of austerity – and its attendant national offensive against unions. —Subterranean Dispatches, 05/06/11 More »

Plan to close Oak Forest Hospital draws more criticism

Assertions by Cook County officials that Oak Forest Hospital patients will be adequately cared for if the hospital closes were called into question Monday at a public hearing on the planned closure at Oak Forest City Hall. —Southtown Star/Chicago Suntimes, 05/03/11 More »

An Open Letter to CBS’ 60 Minutes Following its Pitch for More Corporate Handouts

An Open Letter to CBS’ 60 Minutes Following its Pitch for More Corporate Handouts

Your report on the corporate tax rate and new tax havens March 27 (“A look at the world’s new corporate tax havens”) was a stunning disservice to all the Americans who are harmed by a national budget that is seriously distorted by the failure of so many U.S. corporations to pay their fair share. —Alternet, 03/31/11 More »

Want to Cut the Deficit? Restore Fair Taxes on Corporations and the Wealthy

Greed at the upper echelons of our society is bankrupting our governments at every level. "Suggesting corporations and the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share," writes Deborah Burger, "usually earns one the reproof of advocating class warfare. But class warfare when practiced by the elites is apparently perfectly acceptable. The average CEO who was paid $27 for every dollar earned by an employer 25 years ago – during which wages have mostly fallen or stagnated – now gets a ratio of about $275 to $1." —CommonDreams, 03/25/11 More »

Tufts nurses protest over hospital staffing

Tufts Medical Center nurses are ratcheting up their heated contract dispute with the Boston teaching hospital. Nurses planned to follow a flash mob at South Shore Plaza yesterday with picketing from 4 to 6 p.m. today outside the hospital in Chinatown. —Boston Globe, 03/17/11 More »

PROMISES, PROMISES: Obama shies away from protests

Union leaders urged Vice President Joe Biden during a White House meeting last month to go to Wisconsin and rally the faithful in their fight against Gov. Scott Walker's move to curtail collective bargaining rights for most public employees. —Associated Press, 03/12/11 More »

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 »

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 »

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