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RNs Jean Ross and Karen Higgins join us to talk about the recent elections, what the results mean to our country and respective states. Both Jean and Karen are full time RNs and also serve as two of the three co-presidents for National Nurses United. Why be involved in patient advocacy beyond the bedside? Read more…
Originally posted August 7th, 2012 2:25 PM on MichaelMoore.com
My tweet yesterday said I’d write about the three pieces of mail I received from my insurance company, Aetna, this week. All three confirmed it. In their eyes and in every manner of decision they make, I am either a medical loss if a claim must be paid or I am a profit if they can deny me.
If only we had Medicare for all for life…
My first piece of mail from Aetna was the first round of denials of the medication my doctor ordered to help reduce my gut pain as diagnostic effort and other care continues. That instantly made me upset which also makes me feel worse.
If only we had Medicare for all for life…
But it was second piece of mail from Aetna that gnaws at me more. The letter informed me that my employer would be getting a rebate check since Aetna failed to meet the amounts they needed to in approved/paid claims. The letter was a bit celebratory in that it told me that my employer could choose to use the funds for other employee health costs, but I wasn’t celebrating. It would have made me happy and healthier to have my medication. Read more…
We live in a world of constant pressure and stress, which seems to be getting more challenging all the time. Especially in healthcare, organizations are forced to do more with less, putting pressure on the staff to exceed the superhuman pace that they are currently working at. Nurses are especially vulnerable to this level of stress because it seems that we, as a profession, are always “picking up the slack” when cutbacks are made in other departments or holds are placed on hiring. I used to laugh in my leadership positions when the CEOs would say, “but we’re not cutting nursing positions”, and, as a CNO, I would argue in a sense, yes, we are. When nurses “pick up the slack”, nurses are absent from the bedside, performing tasks that can be done by other people and at a premium cost. As nurses, we can also add on the emotional stress of what we deal with on a daily basis, followed by the tremendous responsibility of having precious lives in our hands. Oh, and let us compound the work stress by layering on family responsibilities, school responsibilities, day to day activities of survival, and, let’s not forget, somewhere in there we need to sleep. Read more…
Read California Healthline’s roundup of last Wednesday’s successful vote on SB 810:
Friday, May 06, 2011
Senate Health Committee Moves Single-Payer Bill
by David Gorn
Many dozens of single-payer supporters crammed the Senate Committee on Health chambers on Wednesday for hearing on a bill that would set up a single-payer health system in California.
The supporters were respectful and emphatic as they all stepped, one by one, up to the microphone to voice their support for such a model. After all of the advocates took their turn and returned to their seats, Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) wanted to know if there were any more speakers, so he politely asked if there was anyone else in the audience who was in favor of the bill.
And a sea of hands went up, as nearly everyone in the audience spontaneously and quietly raised their hands.
That has been the history of single-payer legislation in California, with enthusiastic, almost fervid, support of it by many citizens and organizations in the state, but a tepid, almost embarrassed, reception by many lawmakers.
Here’s how Wednesday’s vote on SB 810 broke down:
YES – Ed Hernandez, Elaine Alquist, Kevin de Leon, Mark DeSaulnier, Lois Wolk
NO – Joel Anderson, Sam Blakeslee, Tony Strickland
Sen. Read more…
Facing possible extinction for the first time in four years, the single payer bill SB 810 pulled through, passing the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday on a 5-3 vote, state Sen. Mark Leno’s office reported. Up until a couple of days ago, committee chair Sen. Ed Hernandez had been undecided, putting the bill in jeopardy. But intense pressure from single payer advocates across the state and a massive phone campaign finally secured a “yes” vote from Hernandez. In addition, hundreds of single payer supporters descended upon the Capitol in Sacramento to attend the hearing.
Leno’s office released the following statement after the vote:
“California is being overrun by out-of-control health care costs, which has a significant impact on the state budget, businesses and families,” said Senator Leno, D-San Francisco. “Our single payer plan not only guarantees universal coverage for all Californians, but also contains health care costs, which is essential to solving our state budget crisis in the long term.”
SB 810 creates a private-public partnership to provide every California resident medical, dental, vision, hospitalization and prescription drug benefits and allows patients to choose their own doctors and hospitals. This single payer, “Medicare for All” type of program works by pooling together the money that government, employers and individuals already spend on health care and putting it to better use by cutting out the for-profit middle man.
The California Nurses Association is reporting that State Sen. Ed Hernandez has decided to vote in favor of SB 810 at tomorrow’s Senate Health Committee hearing. Up until now, Hernandez, the committee’s chair, had been undecided. This is terrific news. Obviously, the efforts from single payer advocates around California urging voters to call his office helped him make up his mind. This bill needs to get out of committee to survive and reach the entire Senate floor.
To thank Sen. Hernandez, his contact information is below:
Ed Hernandez (District 24 – Los Angeles)State Capitol, Room 4085, Sacramento, CA 95814 Telephone: (916) 651-4024; Fax: (916) 445-0485 Email: email@example.com 149 South Mednik Avenue, Suite 202, Los Angeles, CA 90022 Telephone: (323) 881-0100 14403 E. Pacific Avenue, #327, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 Telephone: (626) 337-2760
However, State Sen. Michael Rubio is still leaning toward voting “no.” He believes the federal health reform law is good enough for Californians. He needs to hear from voters, especially his constituents who live in the Central Valley, that we can do better.
Michael Rubio (District 16 – Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern)State Capitol, Room 2066, Sacramento, CA 95814 Telephone: (916) 651-4016; Fax: (916) 327-5989 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
2550 Mariposa Hall, Suite 2016, Fresno, CA 93721 Telephone: (559) 264-3070 1800 30th Street, Suite 350, Bakersfield, CA 93301 Telephone: (661) 395-2620
Pressure is building on two Democratic state Senators on the Senate Health Committee to get them to change their minds on the single payer health care bill, SB 810. The bill is scheduled for a hearing before the committee this Wednesday after being postponed from last week. Committee chairperson Sen. Ed Hernandez (Los Angeles) is publicly saying he has not decided how he will vote on the bill, while Sen. Michael Rubio (Fresno) has said he will vote “no.” If Hernandez also votes no, SB 810 will have died in the state Senate for the first time after having successfully passed the chamber the last three years. Last year, SB 810, sponsored by San Francisco-area state Sen. Mike Leno, passed the state Senate, but died in the Assembly.
The liberal grassroots advocacy group, Democracy for America, has sent out an alert to its membership calling on them to flood Hernandez and Rubio’s offices with phone calls:
“On Tuesday the Vermont Senate passed a bill that puts the Green Mountain State on the path to a single-payer health care system, and next week California’s Senate Health Committee has the same opportunity on May 4th. However, two Democratic senators could keep it from passing.
It looks like California and Vermont could go on two different trajectories in America’s battle for healthcare equality. On Tuesday, the Vermont Senate approved by 21-9 health reform legislation that would create a single payer system in the state. Once the bill is reconciled by both chambers of the Vermont legislature, it will land on Gov. Peter Shumlin’s desk. Shumlin is a strong supporter of single payer.
Meanwhile, in our state of California, SB 810 could be in jeopardy. Wednesday’s scheduled hearing in the state Senate Health Committee was postponed to May 4. According to single payer advocacy group, Single Payer Central, two Democratic members on the committee – chairman Ed Hernandez and member Michael Rubio – are apparently wavering on the bill:
“The Senate Health Committee was scheduled to discuss SB 810 on Wednesday, April 27 at 1:30pm. The Health Committee meeting has now been postponed to Wednesday, May 4th at 1:30pm.
The vote on SB 810 is in jeopardy of not passing because of two members of the Health Committee, Democratic State Senators Michael Rubio from Bakersfield, who is not in support, and the Chair of the Health Committee, Ed Hernandez, who is not sure what he thinks. Read more…
Following the adjournment of the President’s Deficit Commission, National Nurses United, the nation’s largest professional nurses’ union, called on Congress to fully scrap the deeply flawed recommendations of the panel’s co-chairs, and move forward with the urgent actions that will protect America’s nurses and working families.Such a plan would start with a new economic program to put people back to work, a point made more pressing by today’s latest disastrous employment numbers, extending benefits for the unemployed which puts immediate money into the economy, and genuinely cutting healthcare costs, by expanding Medicare to cover all Americans.“We need a plan for everyone, not just Wall Street, the banks, and their champions in Washington who seem to dominate the political debate,” said Deborah Burger, RN, co-chair of the 160,000-member NNU. “Congress and the White House should stop focusing on the agenda of Wall Street and financiers which mischaracterizes causes of the deficit – the Bush tax cuts, the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the downturn in the economy – and advance the programs Americans need, such as stimulus spending.”“Nurses know that the ongoing explosion in healthcare costs is also a major source of the federal deficit, and the insecurity faced by millions of American families and patients,” said Burger. Read more…
If they ever hand out a prize for Hypocritical Freshman Congressperson of the Year, Andy Harris would win first place. In an amazing display of audacity, Harris, a Republican elected Nov. 2 to a Maryland congressional seat on an anti-healthcare reform platform, complained during an orientation meeting about having to wait 28 days before receiving the government-subsidized healthcare plan available to all federal employees. What’s even more incredible, is that Harris is an anesthesiologist. So one would think he would have some empathy for the millions of people who go without insurance much longer than a mere month.After the Politico story came out, Harris received a much deserved public trashing. He immediately tried to clarify his remarks, claiming he wasn’t talking about himself, but about federal employees in general. Nevertheless, Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley of New York was so incensed by Harris’ cluelessness, and anti-health reform legislators in general, that he is demanding that lawmakers who want to repeal reform should drop their own taxpayer-funded coverage. (So far, two lawmakers have taken Crowley up on his challenge)When the fight over healthcare reform took center stage in Congress last year, I kept wondering when someone would point out how ironic it is that millions of working-class taxpayers who don’t get health insurance on the job are subsidizing the health care of lawmakers who would deny health coverage to those same taxpayers. Read more…