Newsletter - Beyond Russia: The Work Ahead

Trump protest in NYC by Dustin Kirkpatrick

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. As the day that the Electoral College casts its vote for President draws near, so does the frenzy of accusations that Russians hacked the election to benefit Donald Trump and are spreading ‘fake news’ full of Russian propaganda. It seems like everyone is jumping on the anti-Russia bandwagon, including past Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and most of the organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party. Many are calling for the Electors to switch their votes to Hillary Clinton. Russian spying image from the Intercept Russian spying image from the Intercept The absurdity of the 2016 Presidential election doesn’t seem to have an end. We urge readers not to get drawn into the manufactured distractions of the day. We have real work to do, no matter who is elected, to organize across multiple fronts of struggle.

Newsletter: Turn Widespread Discontent Into Mass Movement

RiseUp

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. With the election of Donald Trump as president the struggle continues for economic, racial and environmental justice. We knew we would be in struggle no matter who was elected and have been calling for #NoHoneymoon protests for months. We also support calls made for protests in the days before the inauguration and after them. We expect to see a growing presidency of protest under Trump as the movement will grow and continue to demand justice, human rights and a people-based democracy. We need to build now, provide a vision and have conversations at the local level so when the attacks on our communities occur and false promises of Donald Trump are made obvious people know where they can turn. We can turn widespread discontent into a mass movement with the power to transform the nation.

Minimum Wage, Marijuana, Gun Control & Other Issues Win Voters’ Approval

Reminder to vote by Light Brigading used under CC BY-NC 2.0

By Liz Essley Whyte for the Center for Public Integrity. Despite massive losses for Democrats in races from the White House to governors’ offices Tuesday, those on the left celebrated some significant victories with state ballot measures. From marijuana to minimum wage to gun control laws, they won many key initiatives among the 162 statewide measures — part of a concerted plan put in motion more than a year ago to circumvent Republican-led legislatures and take policy questions directly to voters. Progressive advocates appeared to lose major healthcare initiatives in California and Colorado, however. The Center for Public Integrity tracked how those fighting over these measures shaped their messages with TV ads, typically an expensive yet far-reaching endeavor. Media tracker Kantar Media/CMAG estimates that more than $384 million was spent through Monday just to air TV ads about such measures this election.

Newsletter: Elections Expose the Oligarchs

Democracy Not Oligarchy

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The 2016 presidential election has shown how the duopoly, the two parties that represent big business interests and the wealthiest, are corrupted in ways that prevent the people’s voices from being heard, their necessities being met and the planet being protected from human greed. During the campaigns, leaks have given people a behind-the-scenes look at how the parties operate and research on the candidates shows their personal failures. They give voters an image of elites who behave as if the law does not apply to them and who put themselves ahead of the public interest. Last Friday was a day of embarrassment for both the Republican and Democratic Parties. A tape showing Donald Trump bragging about sexual assault in lewd ways has gotten the bulk of attention, but Wikileaks also released thousands of pages of The Podesta Emails, 2,060 emails and 170 attachments. John Podesta is the ultimate insider.

Rapid Burnout, Dissatisfaction Of U.S. Doctors Threatens Public Health Crisis

Tim Waclawski / CC BY-ND 2.0

By Alexander Reed Kelly for Truth Dig – Half of U.S. physicians are “disengaged, burned out, and demoralized and plan to either retire, cut back on work hours, or seek non-clinical roles,” reports MedPage Today, citing a new nationwide survey commissioned by The Physicians Foundation. “Many physicians are dissatisfied with the current state of the medical practice environment and they are opting out of traditional patient care roles,” said Walker Ray, MD, president of The Physicians Foundation, in remarks that appeared with the survey.

Health Care Costs Rise By Most In 32 Years

(Image: Health care costs via Shutterstock)

By Patrick Gillespie for CNN – Prices for medicine, doctor appointments and health insurance rose the most last month since 1984. The price increases come amid a broader debate about climbing health care costs and high premiums for Obamacare coverage. A recent report by Kaiser/HRET Employer Health Benefits forecasts that the average family health care plan will cost $18,142, up 3.4% from 2015. That’s faster than wage growth in America.

Newsletter - Don't Be Fooled By Profiteers Option

Healthcare for All march 2

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. ‘Progressive’ senators and organizations launched an effort to revive the ‘public option’ this week to salvage the so-called Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is critical, if we are to solve the ongoing healthcare crisis in the US, that we are not fooled by what is actually the Profiteer’s Option that will be another gift to the insurance industry. We must unite instead and fight, just as we fight to stop pipelines and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for the solution, national improved Medicare for All, a single payer system that nearly two-thirds of people in the US support. The public option not only adds more bureaucracy it results in patients who need healthcare going toward the public option, while the private insurers use their marketing propaganda to keep wealthier patients and healthier patients in their system. In that way the private insurance takes in more money in premiums and has to pay out less for healthcare. So, while this is sold to us as a step toward single payer, that is false propaganda. The public option is really the Profiteer’s Option.

Census Data Show US Needs Single Payer Now

(Image: Health care costs via Shutterstock)

By Mark Almberg for PNHP – Zarr noted that since the ACA’s passage the number of uninsured has fallen by about 41 percent – from about 49 million people in 2010 to 29 million in 2015, with the largest gains among the poor, near-poor, and minorities. He said such gains “can only be welcomed, since research shows that having some kind of coverage is better than none.” But he said the Census Bureau report shows that new sign-ups dramatically slowed last year, with a decrease in the uninsured rate of only 1.3 percentage points from 2014.

Redistribution Of Health Care From The Poor To The Wealthy

(Image: Health care costs via Shutterstock)

By Samuel L. Dickman et al for PNHP – US medical spending growth slowed between 2004 and 2013. At the same time, many Americans faced rising copayments and deductibles, which may have particularly affected lower-income people. To explore whether the health spending slowdown affected all income groups equally, we divided the population into income quintiles. We then assessed trends in health expenditures by and on behalf of people in each quintile using twenty-two national surveys carried out between 1963 and 2012.

Newsletter - Lift The Veil; See Reality, Take Action

Vermont worker protest Now is The Time

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. It is graduation time and our youth are inheriting a dysfunctional economy while they are saddled with the highest debt ever. This situation creates a downward spiral in which new graduates delay meaningful participation in the economy, such as buying a house or starting a new business, while they try to pay off their debt. Chuck Collins advocates for one solution: higher taxes on the wealthy that are used to reduce the cost of education. This is being done in Washington State. The reality for most youth today is a very different situation than that experienced by the older generation; it is one of intergenerational injustice that must be confronted and corrected or the negative impacts will last a long time. Many people no longer believe the lies we are told to keep us from demanding solutions. A veil is being lifted as people understand how the system is rigged against them and how they need to work together to fight for a better future.

More Americans Want Socialist Healthcare Than You Think

Bernie Sanders, a longtime supporter of single-payer healthcare, speaks in Puerto Rico on May 16. (Photo by David Gasser/LatinContent/Getty Images)

By Harry Cheadle for Vice – The passage of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, shows what it takes to create a new government benefit in 21st-century America. The debate over the bill during Obama’s first term was a nationwide shoutfest that turned violent at times; since Obamacare became law in 2010, the Republican-controlled House has continuously voted to defund it, conservatives have challenged it in multiple court battles (at least one of which is still being fought), many GOP-run states have stalled the expansion of Medicaid that was supposed to come with the law…

National Consensus Builds For Transformational Change: Action Needed

99 percent

By Robert Weissman for Huffington Post. Americans overwhelmingly agree on a wide range of issues. They want policies to make the economy more fair and hold corporate executives accountable. They want stronger environmental and consumer protections. And they want to fix our political system so that it serves the interest of all, not just Big Money donors. These aren’t close issues for Americans; actually, what’s surprising is the degree of national consensus. The problem isn’t that Americans don’t agree. The problem is that the corporate class doesn’t agree with this agenda, and that class dominates our politics. Because this reality runs so counter to the dominant media story, it’s worth diving into the numbers to get a sense of the vast divide between conventional wisdom and empirical data.

Ecuador’s Citizens’ Revolution: Retaking Power From Old Elites

Rafael Correa campaigning

By Staff for Telesur. President Rafael Correa marks nine years in office Jan. 15, 2016, having overseen the transformation of Ecuador. It will be his last full year in power after his recent decision not to stand again. Correa will go down in history as one of the most successful Ecuadorean presidents. Ecuador before Correa was defined by its political and economic instability, with seven presidents forced out of office in a decade. Neoliberal measures applied by previous administrations left the country one of the poorest and least-developed in the region, but the government of Rafael Correa has undertaken a series of deep reforms, which have delivered remarkable changes for Ecuador’s long-excluded majority. President Rafael Correa said in 2014, “People must prevail over capital,” adding that politics is about whose interest governments serve: “Elites or the majority? Capital or humankind? The market or society? Policies and programs depend on who holds the balance of power.”

Thousands Of UK Doctors Strike Over Lack Of Health Funding

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By Staff of Aljazeera – Thousands of junior doctors walked off the job Tuesday in England in a bitter dispute over pay and working conditions — the first such strike in 40 years. About 50,000 junior doctors — those who are training and have between one and 10 years of experience — were on strike for 24 hours protesting government plans to change pay and work schedules. The strike has forced the cancellation of about 4,000 operations and outpatient procedures. The striking doctors argue patients will be put at risk by the government’s policies, while the government says the National Health Service (NHS) needs more flexibility to deliver services on weekends.

Doctor’s Unionize to Avoid Outsourced Management Model

Doctor with patient

By Richard Quinn for Hospitalist. A group of hospitalists in Oregon have formed what is believed to be the first hospitalist union in the country—but it may not be the last. Hospitalists at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center locations in Springfield and Eugene, Ore., voted to form the union, dubbed Pacific Northwest Hospital Medicine Association, to have more say in patient care and working conditions there. Talk of unionizing started afterhospitalists objected to a recommendation by a PeaceHealth consultantthat their group’s employment model be outsourced and run by a national management firm rather than remain hospital-owned. “We really didn’t have much of a say other than all quitting, which we didn’t want to do because we like where we work,” says hospitalist and union spokesperson David Schwartz, MD. “We started talking about unionizing.”