“I’m Scared I’m Not Going To Make It To My 31st Birthday

(Image: Health care via Shutterstock)

By Staff of HCRMD – Pain medication [opioids]. I hate it so much. But my grandmother hates her insulin for her diabetes, but she still does because it keeps her alive. I’m on a teeny tiny dose to just keep me going. My rheumatologist informed me yesterday that this was the last script he was going to do, so now I have to go to a pain clinic. It’s difficult for me to get to a pain clinic. Hogan declared a state of emergency for the opioid epidemic and I think that’s what made the doctor not able to give me my prescription. I think it’s interesting that they’re putting all this money into fighting the epidemic instead of funding research to alternative pain medications. Since talking to you, I’ve had three fractures. Yesterday, when I got that phone call, I broke down. The first thought that was through my head was, “this is how I die”. It’s such a huge topic for me because if I didn’t have to take pain medication, I would be so much happier, because I hate it. I don’t like the sluggishness and I don’t like the addictiveness of it.

First Ever Global Health Study Finds Massive Inequity

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By Dean R. Owen and Rachel Fortunati in HealthData.org. SEATTLE – A first-ever global study finds massive inequity of access to and quality of health care among and within countries, and concludes people are dying from causes with well-known treatments. “What we have found about health care access and quality is disturbing,” said Dr. Christopher Murray, senior author of the study and Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. “Having a strong economy does not guarantee good health care. Having great medical technology doesn’t either. We know this because people are not getting the care that should be expected for diseases with established treatments.” For example, on a scale of 0 to 100 for health care access and quality, Norway and Australia each scored 90 overall, among the highest in the world.

Healthcare Is A Feminist Issue: An Interview With China Martens

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By Brittany Shannahan for The Maryland Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign – In the 5th century BC, the Greek playwright Aristophanes wrote a bawdy comedy in which the women of Greece withhold sex from their husbands in order to secure the end of the Peloponnesian war. If the collective action led by Lysistrata had been real as opposed to fictitious, it would probably be known today as the oldest labor strike in the history of the world. Lysistrata remains one of the most beloved of all surviving comedies from Ancient Greece, and for myself and many other women who have enjoyed it through the years, its central argument, that the provision of sex and intimacy is a type of labor that can be collectively withheld in order to improve the material circumstances of women and their families, invites us to unpack and analyze the many types of invisible and uncompensated labor that women in the 21st century are expected to perform. Today, March 8, 2017, we may see one of the largest women’s strikes in history. In addition to paid work, the Women Strike website invites women to strike from “emotional labor, childcare, diapers, housework, cooking, sweeping, laundry, dishes, errands, groceries, fake smiles, flirting, makeup”.

NJ Congressman Targets Constituent For Urging Town Hall Meeting

Assemblyman critical of congressman's healthcare vote

By William Westhoven for Daily Record – John McKeon was one of the first New Jersey Democratic leaders to be heard last week speaking out against Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s vote in favor of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Now, the assemblyman representing the six Morris County municipalities in New Jersey’s 27th District is hearing calls to challenge the longtime Republican incumbent’s congressional seat. “Never did I ever have a thought about running for Congress, but frankly, what’s come out of Washington for the last 120 days or so has been of great concern, as much from a national perspective as it is from a Jersey-centric one,” McKeon told the Daily Record. “This came out of left field, but is something to be thoughtfully considered.” McKeon stressed that as a candidate for re-election to the Assembly this year, he is looking forward to continuing his work in Trenton, especially if a Democrat wins this years’s gubernatorial election and replaces outgoing Republican Chris Christie in 2018. “I was thinking with great anticipation, and I still am, that with a new governor, I would be able to put forward a lot of the policy issues I have been trying to advance for seven years, and was blocked from doing so,” McKeon said.

Why Fight For Single-Payer Is More Important Than Ever

Adam Gaffney is a physician and an instructor at Harvard Medical School. (Physicians for a National Health Program)

By Sarah Jaffe for In These Times – Just from the big picture perspective, what are some of the things it is doing? Well, on the one hand, it is cutting programs. There is a major cut in Medicaid. Over 10 years, we are talking about greater than $800 billion dollars in Medicaid cuts. That is about a quarter of federal spending. That is going to throw millions of people off of Medicaid. As you know, Medicaid is a program for lower income people that covers a lot of Americans. More than 70 million. That is one thing. The second thing is it is going to weaken the subsidies that people use to buy health plans on the marketplaces, the so-called “Obamacare” plans. Those are still going to be around—the private insurance industry will still be subsidized—but those subsidies are going to be worse, they are going to be more regressive, and they are going to be less adequate for many folks. That is one side of the ledger. On the other side of the ledger there’s just a huge redistribution of wealth upwards. Essentially, it gets rid of a variety of taxes that the Affordable Care Act put in place, and that is almost entirely going to benefit the very wealthy.

GOP Congressman Who Revived Obamacare Repeal Faces Rage At Rowdy Town Hall

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At Wednesday’s town hall, Rep. Tom MacArthur insisted that no one with pre-existing conditions will be declined coverage or not be able to afford coverage under the GOP bill.

By Igor Bobic for The Huffington Post – WILLINGBORO, N.J. ― Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-N.J.), who helped revive efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, on Wednesday became the latest Republican lawmaker to face angry voters at a town hall, just days after he voted for a House bill that would make sweeping changes to the nation’s health care system. Appearing at a crime victims center in a Democratic pocket of his New Jersey district, MacArthur fielded questions for nearly five hours from a loud and feisty crowd about his role in crafting the GOP health care bill and its effect on the insurance marketplace. A few constituents also demanded that he call for a special prosecutor to investigate whether President Donald Trump’s aides colluded with Russia during the presidential campaign. Throughout, MacArthur defended the so-called American Health Care Act over boos and jeers from constituents, many of whom charged that the congressman would have blood on his hands if the bill becomes law. Several times during the event, MacArthur struggled to retain control of the room, getting shouted down even as he told the story of the 1996 death of his 11-year-old daughter, who was born with special needs. “I’m asking you guys to have some respect,” he pleaded exasperatedly at one point.

Nader To Connecticut Reps: Is Aetna Why You Are Wrong On Healthcare

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By Ralph Nader for The Nader Page – There are 109 colleagues of yours who are co-sponsors of HR 676, Congressman John Conyers’ single payer bill in the House that provides full Medicare for all with free choice of doctor and hospital. Yet not one of you — members of the Connecticut Congressional delegation — has co-sponsored HR 676. This despite majoritarian support, with a recent Pew poll showing 85% of Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents saying the federal government should be responsible for health care insurance. Why are you not representing your constituents on this critical reform that, as demonstrated in other countries, is much more efficient, provides much more choice and has better outcomes? The uniformity of your non-participation in this growing legislative movement sticks out like a sore thumb. Even colleagues of yours from Mississippi, South Carolina and Tennessee are co-sponsors. It would behoove you in your forthcoming town meetings during the Congressional recess next week to discuss the reasons why for so many years you have avoided endorsing HR 676. I have asked several people in Connecticut, who are your voters, why you have taken your rejectionist stance.

Nader Rips Sanders Democrats For Putting Single Payer On Back Burner

Single payer protest in NYC by Occupy

By Staff of Single Payer Action – Last month, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) promised single payer activists that he would introduce his single payer bill in the Senate within the next couple of weeks. Now, according to Sanders’ staff, it’s not going to happen. In putting single payer on the back burner, Sanders has reverted to his November 2016 position when his staff told activists that no single payer bill would be introduced in the Senate because the Democrats wanted to focus on defeating the Republicans. “It’s one thing for Bernie Sanders to lead his followers back into the established Democratic Party,” consumer advocate Ralph Nader said. “But why can’t he pull the Democratic Party to adopt his highly popular agenda, led by single payer, which garnered many millions of voters last year? Those voters must be starting to wonder.” Kevin Zeese of Health Over Profit said that Sanders decision not to introduce the single payer bill “shows what Sanders’ priorities are.” “He has always said saving the Affordable Care Act comes before creating single payer,” Zeese said. “But it’s a mistake. Sanders says he wants to fix the problems of the ACA. How do you fix problems like 30,000 people dying every year? Single payer Medicare for all.”

Newsletter - The People's Plan For Transformation

Jason Hargrove / Flickr

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. It is important to understand that we arrived in this situation by, what Moyers described as “careful long-range planning and implementation…consistency of action over an indefinite period of years…” By understanding this plan, we can realize that we can design a way out of it. This includes seeing through the propaganda and exposing the truth; not allowing ourselves to be divided into issue-based silos or taken off track by the agenda of a plutocratic political party; and organizing not just to resist, but more importantly to demand the changes we require in our communities and on the planet. Popular Resistance is one of the conveners of The People’s Congress of Resistance, a grassroots effort to build resistance and collaboration in our communities to solve the crises at hand and create a better world. One of the purposes of the conference will be to plan the future of the resistance movement and determine how we can work together more effectively. It’s time for the people to create a plan for the transformation we need.

Jim Cooper On Health Care: “It’s Hard To Even Call This A System”

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By Staff of Health Over Profit – Representative Jim Cooper represents Tennessee. He is a Blue Dog Democrat, which means he is a fiscal conservative. Blue Dogs “work with members of both parties to find areas of compromise and to advance public policies that benefit the entire nation.” Jim Cooper is a health policy expert. He teaches health care management at Vanderbilt University. And now, Jim Cooper is the 100th member of Congress this year to co-sponsor HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. He announced his endorsement publicly on Saturday, April 15, at a town hall in Nashville. He prefaced his endorsement by saying, “The American system is a confusing hodgepodge of a lot of things, but it is primarily called a ‘market-based’ system, although it’s so confusing, it’s so wasteful and it still leaves so many millions of people out that it’s hard to call it a system. We in America tend to lag the rest of the world, not in the quality of our research, but in the coverage available to our people and in the average healthcare quality that all Americans receive.” He went on to explain how single payer healthcare systems work. And he said he was waiting for Republican support for single payer before he signed on…

Sen. Feinstein Booed For Not Supporting Single Payer Healthcare

Protesters outside the town hall said they were "absolutely pissed off at Dianne Feinstein" for insufficient resistance against the Trump administration. (Photo: @scottshafer/Twitter)

By Deirdre Fulton for Common Dreams – “I am not there,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein says of single-payer healthcare, a concept garnering big applause around the country. It’s not only Republicans that are feeling the heat in their hometowns during this congressional recess. Democrats who aren’t on board with increasingly popular progressive proposals are being held to account as well. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) was a case-in-point on Monday, when she faced angry and vocal constituents at a midday town hall meeting in her hometown of San Francisco. It was her stance on single-payer healthcare—an idea that’s picking up momentum in the wake of last month’s TrumpCare debacle, especially in California—that drew the most vociferous response. When asked about her position on such a system, Feinstein responded: “If single-payer healthcare is going to mean the complete takeover by the government of all healthcare, I am not there.” According to the Los Angeles Times, one audience member called Feinstein a “sellout” as others joined in chants of “single-payer now!”

Health Care Workers Bring Sanctuary Movement Into The Union

Union members may not agree on immigration policies, but we can all rally around the right to quality representation and due process. Porfirio Quintano made the case to co-workers that NUHW should push to guarantee a fair hearing to undocumented brothers and sisters in the union. Photo: Ryan Olds

By Porfirio Quintano for Labor Notes – I had no money and spoke no English when I illegally crossed the border into California 23 years ago, but I worked hard and fought for the right to stay here. Had I made that harrowing journey this year, I’m sure I’d be deported right back into the crosshairs of the Honduran government’s death squads that had targeted me and many other community organizers. Instead I quickly won a grant of political asylum—and later received full American citizenship. I know I’m one of the lucky ones. At the San Francisco hospital where I work, nine out of 10 members of my union are foreign-born. We never ask anyone about their immigration status, but I know several green card holders who are getting ready to apply for citizenship now that their place in America seems less secure. People might think the Bay Area is one big protective cocoon for immigrants, but that’s not the case. The suburb where I live is not a sanctuary city.

Begging For Our Lives

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By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit – “Indiegogo, which launched in 2008 to help filmmakers raise money online, has seen such a marked uptick in personal fundraising to pay for medical costs that it recently started Indiegogo Life — for personal causes, including healthcare. There are a host of other medical crowd-funding sites such as GoFundMe and YouCaring — both of which also report huge increases in medical fundraising in the last two years.” “Here’s a way to give to an individual — it might be someone you know or someone you’ve never met. You know what their need is and that your donation will go to meeting their exact need,” says Leonard Lee, head of communications for YouCaring based in San Francisco.” “A lot of people who thought they had adequate insurance coverage find themselves in situations where insurance is not enough,” he says.

The Nation Rallies For Medicare For All

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By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. The national demand for Medicare for All continues to gain momentum. The Republican’s attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with even crappier private health insurance before the spring recess failed, and instead people organized to create what every other industrialized nation has – a publicly-financed universal healthcare system. Eighteen members of Congress signed on last week to HR 676: The Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act after citizen lobby days, phone calls from constituents and pressure at local town halls. The bill currently has 94 co-sponsors in the House, more than ever in its 14-year history. More are expected to sign on after the spring recess where they will continue to hear from constituents on this issue. And Senator Sanders is expected to introduce a companion bill to HR 676 in the Senate in May.

International Day Of Action For Public Health Care

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By Margaret Flowers for Health Over Profit. On April 7, people around the world took action to celebrate World Health Day by declaring that health care is not a commodity and should not be privatized. The theme of the day was “Our health is not for sale. In the more than 80 cities in the European Union that participated, the demands were to provide full public funding for their health systems and to end privatization. In the United States, the demand was to create a universal publicly-funded health system, as every other industrialized nation has done. In Washington, DC, health advocates gathered in front of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is close to Capitol Hill, with a large banner that said, “Our health is not for sale” to speak out about the failures of the United States’ market experiment in health care.