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And 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.
And Dr. Christina Purpora joins us to talk about “horizontal violence.” A veteran RN writes, “A silent killer has made its way into nursing and slowly eaten away at the core of who we are as nurses.” This epidemic is becoming so widespread that everyone from administrators to nurses’ aides are affected by it. Dr. Purpora is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing and Health Professions at the University of San Francisco (USF). Prior to beginning her academic career in 2010, she earned a Ph.D. in nursing at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Read more…
Most of our listeners know…we love our Donna Smith. Since the start of Nurse Talk Donna has been and is—a remarkable contributor and a tireless advocate for single payer healthcare. She is a legislative organizer for National Nurses United and no one knows healthcare/political issues like Donna. And at the heart of the matter—she doesn’t really believe healthcare—and access to it—should be a political issue. Donna says, “It’s a matter of heart and humanity. It just is.” Having just been diagnosed with cancer (for the second time) Donna now faces what so many sick AND INSURED do—her insurance company is denying medications and treatment. Donna talks about this and more …coming up. Check out some of her blog posts at MichaelMoore.com. Read more…
Yesterday a dear friend and I were discussing how convincingly folks rattle off speculation as truth, and how, without some thought, easy it is to believe them. One of my father’s favorite truths was that once you start going to the doctor, they’ve got you. You’re whole life thereafter will be nothing but a series of drugs, and treatments, and trials over which you will have no control until they refuse your insurance, break you financially, and finally leave you living under the viaduct.
This truth was so profoundly and emphatically expressed that when my sister and I heard my leukemia diagnosis one of the first things we said was, “For the first time, I’m relieved Dad is dead.” It shook us right out of a two month reverie of grief.
In order to save my life, which in itself is a remarkable question, I’ve had to examine Dad’s lie. Underlying it, of course, is fear. Fear of loss of control. Probably Dad’s greatest fear. Dad didn’t like to lose things. Imagine this: In 35 years of being a milk man, he did not lose a drop of milk to spoilage or damage. Can you fathom this? Not one, not a drop of milk in 35 years. Read more…
Are you ready for Thursday? That’s when nurses and other community activists are going to press President Obama and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner for a meaningful financial transaction tax. Nurses from four continents, including a delegation from NNU, will be at the opening of the G-20 summit in France to demonstrate how to “inject an FTT” to resuscitate the ailing global economy.
List of events:
G-20 Summit: 9:45 a.m., Salon Palm, Casino Palm Beach, Place Franklin Roosevelt – Pointe de la Croisette, Cannes, France
Washington, D.C.: Rally, Lafayette Square, 11:30 a.m., followed by march to U.S. Treasury Department. Nurses head to Capitol Hill to lobby Congress at 3 p.m.
Los Angeles: March from OccupyLA site, 11 a.m., First and Main, rally, plaza adjacent to U.S. Bank, W. 633 5th St.
San Francisco: March 11 a.m., from 101 Market, across from the Federal Reserve Bank, rally at 12 noon, Wells Fargo bank headquarters, 464 California St.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
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…