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Obama’s Social Security Talk Is Turning Voters Off, Pollsters Say

President Barack Obama's apparent willingness to consider cuts in Social Security benefits may be winning him points with Washington elites, but it's killing him with voters, who see the program as inviolate and may start to wonder what the Democratic Party stands for, if not for Social Security. —Huffington Post, 01/19/11 More »

Instead of Repealing Health ‘Reform,’ Congress Should Reform the ‘Reform’ to Make it Stronger

Survey research suggests that, while Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of health-care reform, they are not sure the reform cobbled together by President Obama and the last Congress is the proper fix. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the country is divided three ways 33 percent for complete repeal of the measure adopted last year, 35 percent for partial repeal and 30 percent for no repeal. —The Nation, 01/19/11 More »

Arizona cuts in transplant coverage spark outrage

Two people have already died in Arizona and another 96 are waiting for a life-saving transplant they may no longer be able to afford after the state slashed money reserved for the procedures. One lawmaker said Arizona is now home to "death panels." And those whose names were on the list, those who will surely die without a transplant, found themselves in a state of disbelief. "It's a shock to me," said Randall Shepherd, who thought he would receive Medicaid funding for the heart transplant he needs. —CNN, 01/07/11 More »

The Shameful Attack on Public Employees

In 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to support them. That was where he lost his life. Eventually Memphis heard the grievances of its sanitation workers. And in subsequent years millions of public employees across the nation have benefited from the job protections they've earned. —Huffington Post, 01/05/11 More »

Healthcare reform pays big dividends

Health care reform was a big job in 2009, and it paid very well for some executives: Nine of 12 CEOs of health care trade associations made $1 million or more. Lobbyists at the associations received compensation ranging from $250,000 to more than $1 million. —Politico, 01/05/11 More »

Some Tampa Bay area nurses looking to unionize

In February, about 175 nurses rallied in Tallahassee, complaining that they often have too many patients to properly look after them all. Clad in red scrubs and coats, the nurses asked for a law creating specific nurse-patient ratios at health care facilities throughout the state. —St. Petersburg Tiimes, 12/28/10 More »

Watsonville Community Hospital nurses picket in a demand for more staff

Scores of nurses demonstrated in front of Watsonville Community Hospital Thursday, protesting what they say is the hospital's practice of employing so few nurses and medical assistants that patients are receiving substandard care. —Santa Cruz Sentinel, 12/23/10 More »

1-day nurse strike looks likely

Though officials from both the nurses union and Wilkes-Barre General Hospital indicated the aversion of Thursday’s planned 24-hour strike was still possible, neither side sounded like that possibility was a strong one. —WILKES-BARRE, 12/22/10 More »

Pentagon Health Plan Won’t Cover Brain-Damage Therapy for Troops

Sarah Wade, 36, and her husband, Ted Wade, 33, are seen in front of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 18, 2010. Ted suffered a traumatic brain injury, along with multiple other injuries, while riding in a Humvee in Iraq in 2004. Although Ted gets health insurance through the Defense Department, Sarah says "it doesn't cover what it needs to" and that he needs "more options, and less bureaucracy." The Wades live in Chapel Hill, N.C., but regularly travel to Washington for medical appointments and meetings. (Coburn Dukehart/NPR) —NPR, 12/20/10 More »

Community Voices Map Out Broad Range of Concerns about CPMC “Master Plan”

As usual, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, had his finger on the pulse of San Francisco at yesterday's inquiry into the CPMC hospital chain. "I've been to a lot of these hearings, and lies, lies, lies is what we usually hear from CPMC. Sutter is trying to create a hospital monopoly, where they get to write a Bible that we can't interpret." —Beyond Chron, 12/16/10 More »

What Does the Tax Cut Deal Mean for Medicare, Social Security and Health Care Reform? Part 1

When President Obama struck a deal with conservatives on tax cuts, his opponents set the stage for 2012. With this legislation, the conservative agenda of the Bush administration once again becomes national policy. The goal: to redistribute wealth upward--even if that means letting the deficit balloon. —www.healthbeatblog.org, 12/15/10 More »

Union claims nursing jobs becoming far more dangerous

A doctor visit may be becoming a lot more dangerous -- especially for medical personnel -- and local nurses union officials say they want urgent changes made in light of two recent local killings. —Contra Costa Times, 12/12/10 More »

Hospital safety bill proposed

An East Bay assemblywoman has introduced a bill to improve staff safety at hospitals in response to the slayings of two medical workers, including the death of a psychiatric technician at Napa State Hospital late October. —Napa Valley Register, 12/12/10 More »

Hospital, union reach agreement

Facing a federal trial over alleged anti-union activity at the hospital, St. Mary Corwin Medical Center has reached an agreement with the National Labor Relations Board to stop alleged harassment and coercion of nurses who favor union representation. —The Pueblo Chieftan, 12/07/10 More »

Nurses Top Honesty and Ethics List for 11th Year

Nurses continue to outrank other professions in Gallup's annual Honesty and Ethics survey. Eighty-one percent of Americans say nurses have "very high" or "high" honesty and ethical standards, a significantly greater percentage than for the next-highest-rated professions, military officers and pharmacists. Americans rate car salespeople, lobbyists, and members of Congress as having the lowest honesty and ethics, with the last two getting a majority of "low" or "very low" ratings. —Gallup, 12/03/10 More »

7 California HMOs slapped with $5 million in fines for underpaying providers

California's seven largest HMOs must pay nearly $5 million in fines because of unfair payment practices after an 18-month state investigation revealed widespread underpayments, valued in the tens of millions of dollars, for medical care provided by doctors and hospitals. —The Sacramento Bee, 11/30/10 More »

Nurses’ union responds to violent cases against staff

Devoting concern to possible violence against nurses is not a new cause for the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals, but the union has not specifically devoted attention to it since the summer. To remedy this, PASNAP hosted a recent conference to address violence against health care professionals in the workplace, specifically against nurses. —Temple News, 11/30/10 More »

Nurses union becomes potent political force

Politicians and political strategists looking ahead to the next election cycle are taking notice of an increasingly potent political force on the state and national scene - one that's overwhelmingly female and dressed in scrubs. The Oakland-based California Nurses Association has made its mark by delivering some powerful political punches with a combination of entertaining theater and savvy strategizing. —San Francisco Chronicle, 11/24/10 More »

Nurses at two Central Florida hospitals vote to unionize

Registered nurses at two Central Florida hospitals have voted to unionize, reflecting a national trend in which nurses are banding together to fight what they call chronic understaffing. —Orlando Sentinel, 11/23/10 More »

Growing National Nurses United union steps up strikes in aggressive new strategy

The nurses at the Washington Hospital Center were all set to wear red scrubs - the union color - on Monday in preparation for a strike the day before Thanksgiving. But those scrubs can be put away, at least for now, because the union canceled the one-day strike, and management put controversial pay cuts on hold, as both sides are to resume talks after the holiday —Washington Post, 11/20/10 More »

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