Health Reform

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Can SEIU Help Vermonters Win Single Payer?

Steve Early, Labor Notes, June 22, 2012 While the nation waits for an overdue Supreme Court decision that will decide the fate of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, another health care drama with wide implications for universal health care is just starting in Vermont. Prodded by a strong grassroots movement, the Vermont legislature voted last year for a single-payer state health care system where every citizen will eventually be eligible for publicly funded health care. The new system will take five or six years to fund and implement, however, between phasing out existing insurance arrangements, overcoming legal obstacles ... Can

Medical businesses await Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare

Steven Syre, Boston Globe, June 22, 2012 It doesn’t take a genius to predict the big story of next week. The Supreme Court is expected to finally to release a decision in the court case challenging President Obama’s health care law. Readers and viewers will be inundated in coverage. Consider yourself warned. The court ruling is a tricky thing to anticipate because there are more than two possible findings. The law could be upheld, struck down entirely, or rejected in part. Many business interests have a lot riding on the court decision ... Medical

On the Road Again, Cancer Does Not Wait for Nine Robed Judges

Donna Smith, National Nurses United, June 21, 2012 My cancer won’t wait and doesn’t care about what nine robed judges in Washington, DC, say about healthcare. Cancer doesn’t care. Obamacare. Romneycare. No matter. Cancer doesn’t care. But the nurses do.

 Unrelenting and not fearful of any CEO’s rage or the loss of a political contribution, cancer, illness and injury march on. It is with that sort of fearless and unwavering force that the nurses of National Nurses United and the patients for whom they advocate are advancing the cause for healthcare justice. 

We’re on the road in California bringing the message ... On

Report: 26,000 uninsured Americans die each year

David Morgan, Reuters, July 20, 2012 Washington  - More than 26,000 working-age adults die prematurely in the United States each year because they lack health insurance, according to a study published ahead of a landmark US Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's health care reform law. The study, released on Wednesday by the consumer advocacy group Families USA, estimates that a record high of 26,100 people aged 25 to 64 died for lack of health coverage in 2010, up from 20,350 in 2005 and 18,000 in 2000. That makes for a rate of about 72 deaths per day, or three per hour. ... Report

Medicaid’s future tied to court decision on health-care reform

Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News, June 20, 2012 The future of the nation’s largest health insurance program - Medicaid - hangs in the balance of the Supreme Court’s decision on the 2010 health-care reform law. The state-federal program that covers 60 million poor and disabled people would be greatly expanded under the health-care reform law, adding 17 million people starting in 2014. But if the entire law is struck down, states for the first time since 2009 would be free to tighten eligibility and make it more difficult for people to apply. The law had barred such changes. ... Medicaid

Healthcare remedies

China Daily, June 20, 2012 That the basic healthcare security net-work now covers all 1.3 billion residents shows what China's healthcare reform has achieved since further reform was initiated three years ago. The proportion of hospital expenses patients get reimbursed has increased to 70 percent from 54 percent for urban residents and 48 percent for rural residents. The basic medicine system that has been promoted in local county-level hospitals has cut the average cost of hospital treatments by 9.46 percent. The central government has also invested 43 billion yuan ($6.8 billion) in supporting the renovation and construction of 2,233 county-level hospitals ... Healthcare

6.6 million young adults on parents' health plans, survey says

The number, topping earlier estimates, shows the popularity of a provision of President Obama's healthcare law requiring health insurers to let parents enroll children under 26 on their plans. Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times, June 8, 2012 Washington - President Obama's healthcare law helped as many as 6.6 million young adults stay on or get on their parents' health plans in the first year and a half after the law was signed, a new survey indicates.

That number, found in the survey by the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, is far higher than earlier estimates. ... 6.6

Waiting for SCOTUS

Labor Campaign for Single Payer, June 20, 2012 Washington is abuzz with anticipation of the pending Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) signed by President Obama in 2010. We are now past the mid-June window that many observers predicted as the most likely date that they would release their decision. Perhaps the Justices are bogged down in the fine points of healthcare policy deliberations. More likely, however, is that the Justices are engaged in a boldfaced political calculation and are trying to shape a decision that conforms to their desired political outcome. ... Waiting

Standing Room Only Crowd Greets San Diego Opening of Medicare for All Tour, Next Stop Santa Ana

Donna Smith, American SiCKO, National Nurses United, June 20, 2012 San Diego – Take heart, America. After an historic day of action in the worldwide launch of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, the nurses of National Nurses United kicked off the California statewide bus tour for Medicare for all to a standing room only crowd in San Diego.
As the audience cheered the news that JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon cowered in through a back door at the Rayburn House Office Building in DC as the nurses met him in full Robin Hood attire and with the message of supporting the Robin Hood Tax, the San Diego crowd had no difficulty connecting the need ... Standing

No Matter What the Supremes Say, We’re Still SiCKO After All These Years

Donna Smith, Healthcare-NOW!, June 19, 2012
 Come on to Philadelphia on June 30th, if you want to know the low down on what the high court of the land says about health reform. Some real people who serve as the world’s highest profile examples of the dysfunctional healthcare system in the United States, filmmaker Michael Moore, and health insurance industry whistleblower Wendell Potter will converge for an evening of comment and conversation just as the political frenzy over the Supreme Court ruling is announced on the individual mandate for Americans to purchase health insurance that is part of the law passed in 2010. ... No

California Nurses Kick Off "Health Care Justice" Tour in San Diego

San Diego nurses protest for "Robin Hood tax." Brandi Powell, NBC, June 19, 2012 One group of protesters gathered to raise awareness for a new Robin Hood Tax. Brandi Powell spoke to Jerry Jenkins, a registered nurse with the California Nurses Association, about solutions to income gaps in America. Chase Bank in Mission Valley beefed-up security for the Robin Hood rally on Tuesday morning. A security guard told NBC 7 he was hired to guard the outside of the bank to make sure nothing happened. Geri Jenkins, RN, joined nearly a dozen other nurses at the bank on the 5100 block of Mission Center Road in Mission Valley.... California

Health Insurance Fine Print Still Written in Blood

Donna Smith, National Nurses United, June 12, 2012 With great fanfare this week, the Washington Post reports that United Healthcare plans to keep key consumer provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act no matter what the Supreme Court rules about the individual insurance purchase mandate. From the June 10th WP article: Officials at United Healthcare will announce Monday that whatever the outcome of the court decision - expected this month - the company will continue to provide customers preventive health-care services without co-payments or other out-of-pocket charges, allow parents to keep adult children up to age 26 on their plans ... Health

Health policy versus jobs

Chelsea Conaboy, Boston Globe, June 11, 2012 Hospital officials frequently warn state and national lawmakers that aggressive cost controls will lead to health care job losses. But two Harvard University economists argue in a New England Journal of Medicine perspective piece published online last week that health care jobs have no place in the policy debate. There’s a bigger employment picture to consider, Harvard School of Public Health professors Katherine Baicker and Amitabh Chandra write. ... Health

Obama Was Pushed by Drug Industry, E-Mails Suggest

Peter Baker, New York Times, June 8, 2012 Washington - After weeks of talks, drug industry lobbyists were growing nervous. To cut a deal with the White House on overhauling health care, they needed to be sure that President Obama would stop a proposal intended to bring down medicine prices. On June 3, 2009, one of the lobbyists e-mailed Nancy-Ann DeParle, the president’s health care adviser. Ms. DeParle reassured the lobbyist. Although Mr. Obama was overseas, she wrote, she and other top officials had “made decision, based on how constructive you guys have been, to oppose importation” on a different proposal. ... Obama

Looking ahead at options if health law falls

Justices’ decision could challenge legislators. Tracy Jan, Boston Globe, June 5, 2012 Washington - As the country awaits this month’s Supreme Court decision on the fate of President Obama’s sweeping health reform law, sharp negative questioning by justices during oral arguments has supporters and opponents girding for the possibility that the entire bill could be overturned. That means the elimination - along with the controversial mandate that most people purchase health insurance - of popular provisions allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26 ... Looking

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