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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 »

Single payer, here we come

For more than 7 million working Californians who currently don't have health insurance, Congress and President Barack Obama's attempt to reform health care has been an exercise in frustration. The public option was almost immediately taken off the table, despite the fact that most independent experts agree reform won't work without it, and after a year of negotiations, no bill is in sight. —Sacramento News and Review, 03/04/10 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 »

Nurses rally for safer staffing

Before Gwen Collins headed to Tallahassee this week to ask lawmakers to limit the number of patients each hospital nurse cares for, she asked her fellow RNs at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa if they had a message to convey about their workloads. Their response: "Tell them this is madness." "Nurses want to see safety for patients and sanity for themselves," said Collins, a registered nurse who has heard similar sentiments from burned-out nurses at hospitals throughout the country. "They want to make sure mistakes are not made." —St. Petersburg Times, 02/17/10 More »

Nurses: We’re overworked and spread too thin

Nurses say they're overworked and spread too thin and it's affecting your safety. They teamed up with lawmakers Tuesday night in Kalamazoo to rally support. They're laying out the basics of new legislation that would regulate patient care across the state. House Bill 40-08 does two things. It creates a minimum nurse to patient ratio in hospitals and it also bans mandatory overtime. —WWMT (CBS), 02/17/10 More »

Nurses Rally For Fla. Patient Protection Bill

Florida nurses are calling for legislation to set minimum hospital staffing ratios and give them whistle-blower protection. Dozens of registered nurses marched and held a rally Wednesday near the Florida Capitol to support the introduction of what they call a a patient protection bill. —Associated Press, 02/17/10 More »

Nurses, Doctors Head For Haiti

A month after an earthquake devastated Haiti, teams of nurses and doctors are continue to travel to the Caribbean nation to help. A group of nurses from as far away as California, Michigan and Minnesota arrived in Jacksonville Sunday night to await transportation to the U.S. Navy medical ship, the USNS Comfort, currently stationed off Haitian coast. —News 4 JAX, 02/15/10 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 »

Former eBay CEO rewrites campaign spending book

Chartered jets that offer "white glove service," fancy fundraisers in Beverly Hills and beyond, and enough high-priced political consultants to fill an auditorium. Those are a few of billionaire Meg Whitman's favorite things as she carries out her remarkably lavish campaign for California governor. —Associated Press, 02/05/10 More »

Federal Government Indicts Sutter/CPMC to Block Illegal Health Plan Imposed On San Francisco RNs

Sutter Health's California Pacific Medical Center (Sutter/CPMC) is facing an upcoming trial over the unilateral imposition on January 1, 2010 of an unlawful health plan on registered nurses and other workers. —Press Release, 02/02/10 More »

Major Advance for Healthcare Reform as Senate Passes Medicare for All Legislation

To ecstatic applause from healthcare advocates, the California Senate today breathed new life into national prospects for fundamental health reform by passing on a 22 to 14 vote a major bill to guarantee healthcare in the state through creating a Medicare for all system that would cover every Californian. —Press Release, 01/28/10 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 »

With Federal Health Bill Stalled, California Senate to Vote On Medicare for All

With prospects for national healthcare reform dimming following Tuesday's election in Massachusetts, a major bill that would establish universal healthcare, through a Medicare-for-all style reform, has been cleared today for a new vote in the California legislature. —Press Release, 01/21/10 More »

Michigan healthcare workers set to go to Haiti

Kyle Martin has traveled to Haiti since he was 12 years old as part of local mission groups. Now 26 and a second-year osteopathic medical student at Michigan State University, he has traveled to the impoverished Caribbean nation eight times in the past year to work at a medical clinic in Gressier, a town southwest of Port-au-Prince. —Detroit Free Press, 01/17/10 More »

More than 7,000 US nurses volunteer for Haiti

More than 7,000 nurses in the United States have volunteered to go to Haiti to help injured survivors of the devastating earthquake. —Associated Press, 01/15/10 More »

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