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Pfizer Rapamune Lawsuit: Pharma Giant’s Subsidiary Accused Of Targeting ‘High-Risk’ Black Patients

In a stunning whistleblower lawsuit, the world's largest pharmaceutical company is being sued over the dangerous practice of illegally promoting a kidney transplant drug for unapproved uses -- and targeting African-Americans, even though they are at high risk of complications. —Huffington Post, 05/25/10 More »

Health Insurance Companies Try to Shape Rules

Health insurance companies are lobbying federal and state officials in an effort to ward off strict regulation of premiums and profits under the new health care law. The effort is, in some ways, a continuation of the battle over health care that consumed Congress last year. —New York Times, 05/15/10 More »

Health Care Employees RNs Adopt National Bargaining Standards

During National Nurses Week, registered nurses from across the country May 11 put health care employers on notice that they do not intend to sign concessionary collective bargaining agreements that are “injurious” to their patients or their profession. —Bureau of National Affairs, 05/12/10 More »

Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis Addresses National Nurses United

Good morning National Nurses United! Thank you Ms. Zenei Cortez for the kind introduction. And thank you all for the invitation to join you today. I want to say hello to all my nursing friends from California. —U.S. Department of Labor, 05/11/10 More »

More Nurses=Fewer Deaths, Hospital Study Shows

The new health insurance reform package took a few steps toward increasing access to insurance and controlling costs, argues National Nurses United spokesman Chuck Idelson, but it did little to improve quality of care, one of the major challenges facing would-be reformers. But research published today in the journal HSR (Health Services Research) concludes that increasing the number of nurses in a hospital can do a lot to boost the chances that patients will survive–and to encourage experienced nurses to stick with the job at a time when many hospitals suffer from nurse shortages and high turnover. —In These Times, 04/20/10 More »

UnitedHealth CEO Stephen Hemsley was paid $102M in ‘09

Giant paydays are back at UnitedHealth Group. Chief executive Stephen Hemsley pulled in $102 million in 2009, with $98.6 million coming from exercised stock options, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday. That’s the biggest payday at the Minnetonka-based health insurer since 2006, when former chief Dr. William McGuire collected $127 million. —Bloomberg News, 04/15/10 More »

More NNU Nurses Answer Call to Help Haitian Quake Survivors

Another contingent of National Nurses United (NNU) nurse volunteers is on its way to Haiti to help provide much needed medical care to the earthquake survivors. The 10 RNs are part of NNU’s RN Response Network (RNRN). —AFL-CIO, 04/05/10 More »

Pro-single-payer doctors: Health bill leaves 23 million uninsured - A false promise of reform

As much as we would like to join the celebration of the House's passage of the health bill last night, in good conscience we cannot. We take no comfort in seeing aspirin dispensed for the treatment of cancer. Instead of eliminating the root of the problem - the profit-driven, private health insurance industry - this costly new legislation will enrich and further entrench these firms. The bill would require millions of Americans to buy private insurers' defective products, and turn over to them vast amounts of public money. —Physicians for a National Health Program, 03/22/10 More »

Chico nurse works on hospital ship off Haiti

Two weeks off Haiti aboard a Navy hospital ship left Darrell Daugherty, a nurse from Chico, with vivid memories and plenty of material for his diary. It was the chance of a lifetime to work aboard the USNS Comfort, Daugherty said in an interview this week. "I met great people. I thought they were doing a very good job." —Chico Enterprise Record, 03/14/10 More »

Executives Who Get Paid Millions To Deny You Health Care Coverage

The business model of American health insurers is basically: try to get healthy customers as clients, and then resist as long as possible when it comes to paying out claims. That’s actually not an indictment or a criticism. It’s just the way our system works, and it’s screwed up. —wallstcheatsheet.com, 03/10/10 More »

Local nurse spends two weeks helping earthquake victims in Haiti

Lauren Aichele, operating room nurse at UCSF at Mount Zion, was one of three nurses chosen out of thousands of applicants to National Nurses United to help earthquake victims in Haiti. She stayed on the Navy’s medical ship, the USNS Comfort, for two weeks in February. —San Francisco Examiner, 03/08/10 More »

Modesto nurse volunteers in shattered nation of Haiti

As a veteran emergency and intensive care nurse, Marti Smith of Oakdale has cared for plenty of car crash victims and other people with severely broken bones. During her 10 days of serving on a hospital ship caring for victims of the Haiti earthquake, she wasn't struck by the severity of the injuries, but by the sheer number of Haitian people with severe trauma. —Modesto Bee, 03/06/10 More »

Health Reform Lessons from Massachusetts, Part X

Health Reform Lessons from Massachusetts, Part X

Four years ago, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts enacted a far-reaching health reform law that politicians and the media hailed as a model for other states and the federal government. That law has become the blueprint for health system change on a national scale, and its advocates have aggressively marketed a variation of the Massachusetts plan that has passed the Senate and House of Representatives. This is the tenth in an occasional series of posts that will continue to explore how well the Massachusetts law is working with an eye toward helping the press and the public understand its flashpoints. The entire series is archived here. —Columbia Journalism Review, 03/03/10 More »

What do we need health insurers for anyway?

Angela Braly can't kid me. When the chief executive of gargantuan health insurer WellPoint (parent of Blue Cross of California) went before a congressional subcommittee the other day, she displayed all the smile-through-the-tears pluck of Annie looking to a sunny tomorrow or Scarlett swearing to God she'll never be hungry again. —Los Angeles TImes, 02/28/10 More »

Deaths Rising for Lack of Insurance, Study Finds

As members of the Obama administration and Congress met on Thursday to try to find common ground on health care, a new report warned that without comprehensive legislation, more than 275,000 adults nationwide will die over the next decade because of a lack of health insurance. Nearly 14,000 of those deaths would occur in New York State. —New York Times, 02/26/10 More »

Calif. insurer’s rate increases draw attention of federal government

President Obama's secretary of health and human services fired off a sharply worded letter to a California insurer Monday, demanding to know why it is raising rates for individual policyholders by as much as 39 percent. The unusual salvo offers a reminder that, even as health-care legislation lies in limbo in Washington, the battle over surging health care costs continues in other venues. —Washington Post, 02/08/10 More »

When healthcare coverage is insurance in name only

The L'Esperances are your typical American family. They work hard. They try to get ahead. They don't ask anyone for help. And they pray they don't get sick. Mom and Dad -- a.k.a. Laguna Beach residents Jan and Paul L'Esperance -- sell kitchenware on behalf of various manufacturers. They've just been informed by Anthem Blue Cross that premiums for their health insurance will rise 18% to $985 a month. —Los Angeles TImes, 02/08/10 More »

Haiti’s ‘floating hospital’: Tough questions on USNS Comfort

Yvelot Brianville, 24, lies quietly on a steel hospital gurney, a boyish naval officer in blue combat fatigues standing by his side. The officer, Lt. Cmdr. Mill Etienne, 34, is Haitian, fluent in Creole. He is also a neurologist, called to the intensive-care ward of this floating U.S. Navy hospital just off the coast of Port-au-Prince to assess the impact of Haiti's earthquake on one man's spine. —USA Today, 01/26/10 More »

Unions Can’t Compete With Corporate Campaign Cash

Some union leaders think that the Supreme Court ruling in the case of Citizens United v. FEC -- which essentially takes the limits off campaign spending -- will give them the same flexibility and freedom to influence the process as it does corporations. —The Beat, 01/24/10 More »

Medical help on hold as groups await transportation to Haiti

Through treacherous floods and military coups, Gale Hull's organization Partners in Development has provided medical services to Haiti's poor. The group's clinic is still standing despite the devastating 7.0-magnitude earthquake, but there's no medical team there. Hull is just one of thousands of people eager to get into Haiti to help, but whose efforts have been delayed by communications outages and the country's crumbled infrastructure. —CNN, 01/21/10 More »

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