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Consumer Groups Fear Patients Could Be Hit With Large Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Consumer Groups Fear Patients Could Be Hit With Large Out-Of-Pocket Costs

Under the federal law, starting Jan. 1 health plans must include certain benefits, such as hospital care and drug coverage, and must cap the amount consumers can be charged through deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance. That out-of-pocket cap next year is estimated to be about $6,250 for an individual. —Kaiser Health News, 04/10/13 More »

Labor Pains, Evergreen

Labor Pains, Evergreen

The battle over the tar sands pipeline among unions has been XL on drama. "For too long we have allowed some corporations to hold a gun to our heads and demand that we choose jobs or choose the earth.” That’s what Terry O’Sullivan, the general president of the Laborers International Union of North America, told green groups and fellow unions at a green-jobs conference in February 2009, just a few months after the union—one of the largest in the country—joined the Blue-Green Alliance, a group organized to advocate for a “clean economy.” —The American Prospect, 04/09/13 More »

Lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America

Lack of paid sick leave is unhealthy for America

Ian Rizzio was a 24-year-old mechanical engineering student in Portland, Oregon, managing a sandwich shop to pay his tuition. One day, he woke up sick, but went to work anyway, as he later testified to the Portland City Council. After vomiting in the bathroom, Rizzio spent two hours trying — unsuccessfully — to reach his boss before going home to rest. When Rizzio came into work the next day, he was fired immediately. With $35,000 in student loans, he feared he’d have to withdraw from school. —The Washington Post, 04/03/13 More »

The Tar Sands Disaster

The Tar Sands Disaster

Canada’s tar sands formations, landlocked in northern Alberta, are a giant reserve of carbon-saturated energy — a mixture of sand, clay and a viscous low-grade petroleum called bitumen. Pipelines are the best way to get this resource to market, but existing pipelines to the United States are almost full. So tar sands companies, and the Alberta and Canadian governments, are desperately searching for export routes via new pipelines. —The New York Times, 04/02/13 More »

SOUTH FLORIDA NURSES WIN FIRST UNION CONTRACTS

SOUTH FLORIDA NURSES WIN FIRST UNION CONTRACTS

South Florida registered nurses this week are celebrating their first ever collective bargaining agreement at Florida Medical Center (FMC) and Palmetto General Hospital, with terms they say will both improve patient care as well as secure economic gains for nurses and their families. —Caribbean Today, 04/02/13 More »

Federal healthcare law could boost some California premiums by 30%

Federal healthcare law could boost some California premiums by 30%

The federal healthcare law will help cause insurance premiums to rise 30% on average for many middle-income Californians next year, but lower-income consumers could save up to 84%, a new government report says. —LAtimes.com, 03/28/13 More »

Our Voice: Not-for-profit hospitals should provide their fair share of charity

Our Voice: Not-for-profit hospitals should provide their fair share of charity

Until 1969, the federal government required not-for-profit hospitals to meet the 5 percent standard. However, after Medicare and Medicaid were enacted in 1965, hospitals argued that the need for charity care would decline so that hospitals could not meet the IRS standard and that they should be awarded more flexibility. The IRS dropped the 5 percent rule but established a “community benefit standard.” —MyDesert.com, 03/22/13 More »

Bill seeks nonprofit hospital charity boost, Eisenhower Medical Center on list

Bill seeks nonprofit hospital charity boost, Eisenhower Medical Center on list

RANCHO MIRAGE — A new bill under consideration in Sacramento would require not-for-profit hospitals such as Eisenhower Medical Center to raise charity spending to 5 percent of their net revenue. —Palm Springs Desert Sun, 03/18/13 More »

Apple Valley Nurses Hold Vigil to Address Staffing Concerns

Apple Valley Nurses Hold Vigil to Address Staffing Concerns

APPLE VALLEY-Nurses held a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley, calling for improved nurse staffing throughout the St. Joseph Health System. —Daily Press, 03/15/13 More »

US ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers’ Keeping More Money Overseas

US ‘Corporate Tax Dodgers’ Keeping More Money Overseas

At a time of record corporate profits, U.S. "corporate tax dodgers" are parking more of their profits offshore, taking advantage of tax loopholes to shield billions from U.S. taxes, according to new analyses in the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg. —Common Dreams, 03/11/13 More »

Medicare Uncovered: What the president said, and didn’t say

Medicare Uncovered: What the president said, and didn’t say

The president’s State of the Union message may have sort of resolved the question: “Will he or won’t he touch Medicare? The answer: he probably will, a conclusion based on his cryptically grand rhetoric. The president called for those who care deeply about Medicare to “embrace the need for modest reforms—otherwise our retirement programs will crowd out the investments we need for our children.” Vague enough! —Columbia Journalism Review, 02/14/13 More »

Court ruling on labor board harms workers

Court ruling on labor board harms workers

When the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Friday to overturn President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, it handed a huge gift to Wall Street, big corporations and the politicians they control. —San Francisco Chronicle, 01/28/13 More »

Why unions growing in California - Video highlights CNA

Why unions growing in California - Video highlights CNA

Business reporter Alana Semuels talks with nurses union organizer David Johnson and UC Berkeley Prof. Harley Shaiken about why labor unions are growing in California but not the nation. —Los Angeles Times, 01/24/13 More »

The troubling state of America’s health

The troubling state of America’s health

America is dangerous to your health. A recent international commission reported that U.S. men rank last in life expectancy for the 17 industrial nations in the study; U.S. women rank next to last. When it comes to health, the United States is exceptional — exceptionally bad. —The Washington Post, 01/16/13 More »

More Powerful than Prison Guards: The Woman Who Knows What Nurses Need

More Powerful than Prison Guards: The Woman Who Knows What Nurses Need

Columnist Colleen O'Connor explains why Rose Ann DeMoro, the director of the nurses union, is more powerful than any woman in California but the governor's wife. A month into the new year and it is obvious who the 2013 Person of the Year in California will be: Rose Ann DeMoro. —PowayPatch.com, 01/16/13 More »

Americans ‘are sicker and die younger’ than people in other wealthy nations

Americans ‘are sicker and die younger’ than people in other wealthy nations

America may be one of the richest countries in the world, but its people are less healthy and more likely to die early from disease or accidents than those in any other affluent country, a damning official US report has found —The Guardian, 01/10/13 More »

Surging flu no reason for vaccine mandate

Surging flu no reason for vaccine mandate

When you decide not to get a flu shot, the risk is that you or someone near you will get sick. But for health care workers, the price is increasingly a pink slip. Hundreds have already been fired. —USA Today, 01/10/13 More »

Nurses union wants better staff ratios

Nurses union wants better staff ratios

AUSTALIA--The NSW Nurses Association has said it will campaign for mandatory staffing ratios in more areas of the health system when the NSW nurses industrial award expires in June. —Newcastle Herald, 01/10/13 More »

The President’s Unnecessary and Unwise Concessions

The President’s Unnecessary and Unwise Concessions

Why is the President back to making premature and unnecessary concessions to Republicans? Two central issues in the 2012 presidential election were whether the Bush tax cuts should be ended for people earning over $250,000, and whether Social Security and Medicare should be protected from future budget cuts. —Robert Reich's Blog, 12/20/12 More »

Fiscal cliff cuts threaten austerity for 50 million Americans already in poverty

Fiscal cliff cuts threaten austerity for 50 million Americans already in poverty

Our nurses see dire need every day in the ER, but the growing gulf of inequality in the US has made such deprivation ubiquitous. With a compromise on social security now unmasked – costing the elderly an estimated 6.2-7.7%, according to business writer Doug Henwood – America becomes more and more a place of poverty. Warnings that austerity begets poverty will go ignored, but the nation's deteriorating condition cannot so easily be overlooked. —The Guardian, 12/19/12 More »

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