Contradictions in US Health Care: Syllabus
Sandy Eaton, RN, Center for Marxist Education, 2014
Session 1. April 14, 2014: Health Care USA: Social Good versus Corporate Wealth
Comprising 17.9% of the US economy, the healthcare industry incorporates Minute Clinics and GE, for-profit and not-for-profit conglomerates, community health centers and academic medical centers, drug and device manufacturers, public and private insurance and funding streams. How did it get this way? Where is it going?
The failings of the Affordable Care Act are rooted in a long shift away from the idea of a truly universal health care. AW Gaffney, Jacobin, April 15, 2014 Last year’s three-ring Congressional shutdown circus - for many little more than a desperate rearguard action by an isolated rightwing fringe to undo the fait accompli of Barack Obama’s health care reform - reinforced with each passing day the gaudy dysfunction of the American political system. ... Neoliberal
The Labor Campaign for Single Payer Briefing Paper, 10 Things Unions Need to Look Out for When Bargaining Under Obamacare, has just been released. The paper examines ten threats to union-negotiated health benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It elaborates on the concerns expressed in Resolution 54 passed at this year's AFL-CIO Convention. ... Watch Out
Resolution 54: AFL-CIO Convention Resolution on the Affordable Care Act
Submitted by the Building and Construction Trades Department, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the American Federation of Teachers ...
WHEREAS, in 2009, the AFL-CIO Convention passed two health care resolutions - Health Care Reform Now and the Social Insurance Model for Health Care Reform - which reaffirmed the labor movement’s commitment to health care for all, ultimately through a single-payer system. In 2010, Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ... Resolution 54
Nurses File Ballot Initiative for Safe Patient Limits
Sandy Eaton, RN, Labor Notes, September 2013
Up to 98,000 patients die unnecessarily in US hospitals annually, including 2,000 in Massachusetts. Bay State nurses have launched a campaign to end this travesty once and for all through a November 2014 statewide ballot question that would put safe limits on nurses’ patient assignments.
Falls, infections, medical and surgical errors - all result from the transformation of health care into an assembly line. Dozens of scientific studies published in the last decade have shown how many preventable deaths are attributable to one simple fact: patients are forced to share their nurse with too many other patients at one time.
NNU Director Rose Ann DeMoro Named to Top 100 Most Influential Healthcare List for 11th Straight YearSubmitted by seachange on Tue, 2012-08-28 03:11.
DeMoro Only Advocate for Nurses, Labor on National List. National Nurses United, August 27, 2012 National Nurses United Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro has won national recognition once again as one of the “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare” – the only advocate for nurses or other working people on a list published annually by Modern Healthcare, a prominent national healthcare industry publication. ... NNU
Roni Caryn Rabin, Kaiser Health News, August 26, 2012 Michael Dowling, a burly Ireland native running one of New York’s largest hospital networks, is preparing to turn his business model on its head: He wants to keep his hospital beds empty, rather than full. That’s because the North Shore-LIJ Health System, with 16 hospitals and more than 300 outpatient centers in Long Island and New York City, is laying the groundwork to be an insurer, as well as a provider of health care. ... Hospitals
New York Times Editorial, August 26, 2012 Confusing language in the health care reform law has raised the possibility that millions of Americans living on modest incomes may be unable to afford their employers’ family policies and yet fail to qualify for government subsidies to buy their own insurance. This is a bizarre development that undercuts the basic goal of health care reform - to expand the number of insured people and make their coverage affordable. The people left in the lurch would be those who had lower incomes but were not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid. ... A
Medical profession engaged in healthy debate over nature of care. Yang Wanli, China Daily, August 24, 2012 While job-hopping is quite common, few medical professionals make the switch from a public hospital to a private one. A position in a public hospital has traditionally been regarded as an "iron bowl", offering long-term employment. Yang Jie is one of the exceptions. While working in a public hospital in the 1990s she was chosen by the Beijing Health Bureau to go to Singapore to study nursing. After two years in Singapore she decided to work at a private hospital when she returned to Beijing. ... Private
Labor for Single-Payer, August 20, 2012 The Steering Committee of the Labor Campaign for Single Payer has called for the convening of a National Strategy Conference January 11-13, 2013. The AFL-CIO Executive Council recently issued a statement on Building on the Affordable Care Act. It challenged unionists to continue the fight for healthcare for all. “America’s union movement will not take our eyes off the prize,” the statement reads. “We will keep moving forward until the right to a single high standard of care is a reality for everyone in America.” ... Hold
Sarah Neville & Kiran Stacey, Financial Times, August 15, 2012
An eagerly awaited decision on whether an NHS hospital can seek a tie-up with a private sector partner, potentially reviving charges that the coalition is seeking to “privatise” the NHS, has been delayed.
The board of George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, decided at the end of May to seek permission from the Department of Health to tender for a strategic partner in an attempt to secure its future.
It is among 21 hospitals the department has identified as having financial problems.
Kay Tillow, All Unions Committee For Single Payer Health Care, August 13, 2012
Jenifer Fenton, Financial Times, August 13, 2012
Doha - When Qatar opened its first hospital in 1957, few could have imagined the surging demand that would be placed on the country’s fledgling healthcare system in the coming decades.
More than half a century later, Qatar is now rolling out an even more ambitious first: a scheme to introduce a universal healthcare system, driven by private insurance providers, by 2014.
The new national strategy mandates insurance coverage as compulsory for all Qatari citizens, expatriates and even tourists visiting the country. Insurance plans will be valid at any service provider in Qatar, including the private facilities that represent more than 65 per cent of all the country’s healthcare providers.
Lubna Naji, Financial Times, August 8, 2012
Dr Zaid Al Naddaf, the manager of a primary healthcare centre in Iraq’s eastern Wasit Province, is on the front lines of the country’s efforts to rebuild its health system. But his sentiment towards the job reflects the frustration and disillusionment of many young Iraqi healthcare professionals.
“I want to stay here and serve my country,” he says. “But when I live in a country where I’m exposed and not protected, then it would be better for me and my family to leave.”
AFL-CIO, August 1, 2012 The US Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is only the beginning of the next phase of health care reform. The path forward should be clear: First, we must move full speed ahead to implement the ACA; second, we must firmly reject efforts to undo the progress that already has been made with the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare; and third, we must build upon the ACA, Medicaid and Medicare to achieve our goal of quality health care for all. ... Building