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lizzyj has 25 years experience and specializes in community health.

lizzyj's Latest Activity

  1. lizzyj

    Been getting calls from SEIU?

    SEIU international has sent out about 50 organizers to harass CNA RN leaders in their homes yesterday and have tried to stir up havock in CNA-represented facilities. The heart of the matter... lies in the fact that SEIU International has created a harmful company union structure where the "union" partners with management to the detriment of their members. This is especially dangerous and harmful when you represent healthcare workers who work in unsafe conditions and goes against a licensed nurse's ethical and legal obligation to be a patient advocate. The unfortunate outcomes harm patients as well as caregivers as detailed in a recent SF Weekly article. The article is a must read from start to finish, but I feel compelled to excerpt the part about the tragic death of Mary Hochman, a night nurse and SEIU member who worked at Beverley La Cumbre, a Santa Barbara nursing home: (Read the full story here http://www.sfweekly.com/2008-04-02/news/nursing-home-lobbyist-quits-after-he-predicts-seiu-power-play/full) According to news accounts, Hochman walked onto a beach and shot herself in the heart after a months-long dispute with her employer. Her problems began when she tried to report that a nurse's aide had hit an 81-year-old man with dementia. According to Contra Costa Times reporter Carolyn McMillan, Hochman said in a sworn affidavit that she was told to cover up the information. "If a nurse cannot protect her patients, I do not want to be a nurse," Hochman wrote in her suicide note. "This has taken all hope away from me."Hochman's note, along with a journal detailing instances where she was told to cover up incidents of abuse and neglect, helped spur a federal raid on the nursing home. A subsequent investigation revealed patients suffering beatings and maggot-infested bedsores, culminating in a $2 million settlement against Beverly relating to preventable deaths. The investigation also spawned a dozen civil suits, according to press reports. SEIU had lobbied to ensure that a bill before the California legislature "didn't include provisions supported by patients' rights groups that would have set standards guaranteeing high-quality care. The union added hundreds of nursing home workers to its ranks. But the labor contracts that resulted included a scandalous detail: The union was discouraged from informing regulators, or the press, in cases of bad patient care. Under traditional contracts, whistle-blowers such as Hochman could report abuses to the union and feel protected. The Alliance contracts, however, seemed to have the opposite intent. Under Stern's "modern" collaborative strategy, such protections are apparently worth sacrificing to grow the union. CNA/NNOC is proud of our record in fighting for RNs and safe patient care, from winning the first-in-the nation RN-to-patient ratios, to fighting Governor Schwarzenegger's attacks on our ratios and on the Board of Registered Nurses to building a national nurse's movement to fight for the highest standards nationally for RNs and patients. Building a national nurses movement isn't always going to be easy, but it will all be worth it when we change the face of healthcare in this country.
  2. Link to press release about this as requested...will post articles as they arise... I am posting gthis on All Nurses as a Nurse Alert http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2008/april/rn-leaders-of-california-nurses-association-nnoc-demand-andy-stern-immediately-cease-seiu-s-harassment-and-stalking-of-nurses-at-home-and-on-patient-care-floors.html
  3. seiu threatening nurses at home -- what you should do if they come to your door thursday afternoon, cna/nnoc board of directors member margie keenan, rn was sitting at home, when she looked up and saw four people staring at her through her front window. the four seiuers then started yelling her name and chanting epithets through her window. they left before the police arrived. margie later learned that seiu staff had first showed up on her nursing unit without visitors badges, and pressed co-workers in an effort to try to track her down. rn leaders of california nurses association/nnoc demand andy stern immediately cease seiu’s harassment and stalking of nurses at home and on patient care floors
  4. lizzyj

    Making Patient Advocacy Real

    an update on nick colombo from richard and patti colombo, nicks mom and dad "we just wanted to give you an update of how things are moving what we are doing and how all this is just working out in such a positive way. nick is at usc/norris cancer center*, in los angeles, and everything is now falling into place. the doctor here worked with dr. rosenthal from the sarcoma institute in kansas and knows the procedure. they are preparing him with all the things that need to be done in order for him to have the cyber knife treatment. the doctors here are upset—they say that they had never heard of nick’s case or the denial from usc norris. we said that pacificare had told us that usc didn’t have a program to treat children. they said that only applied to infants and toddlers and they wished he could have been here sooner. they told us to come down immediately, which we did! his treatment was given the green light from pacificare. it’s all covered, so this is just an awesome testimony right now, and were just so glad that nick is gonna be given a chance. they have treated tumors that are bigger than his with cyber knife. the cyber knife procedure will either kill the tumor or shrink it and make it sterile. right now we are focusing on nick and we hope that our situation has helped your organizations fight for healthcare issues. we truly believe that your efforts helped get us where we are today. thank you for your concern for the best for our family. *note: usc/norris is a major national center or cancer research, treatment, prevention and education)
  5. lizzyj

    CNA's Union-Busting in Ohio-An Open Letter

    http://http://www.calnurses.org/assets/pdf/ratios/ratios_booklet.pdf CHECK IT OUT This is a 20 page booklet on mandate RN-to-patient ratios authored by CNA/NNOC :"The Ratio Solution-CNA/NNOC's RN-to-Patient ratios work-Better care , more Nurses" There is a reason this book was written--RNs all over the country want madated ratios like California, which has proven to improve care and bring RNs back to work in hospitals with improved staffing. CNA RNs authored and defended AB 394...it took 13 years. We paved the way for other states and now there are Patient Protections Acts that are modeled on California in Ohio, Illinois, Texas, Arizona, and Maine. Sadly it is fact that SEIU did try and derail this bill at the eleventh hour. Fortunately they were unsuccessful, but are now doing the same dance in many of the states where CNA/NNOC is currently working to win support for mandated ratios, not: --voluntary ratios with no public disclosure, --no rights for RN as patient advocate, --LVN/LPN interchangeability --staffing based soley on patient classification sysyems without ratios as a minimujm standard. AND AS FOR RATIOS IN CONTRACT[/bMost of CNA/NNOC's 150 California contracts have won binding arbitration as a mechanism to resolve staffing disputes as well as having the actual ratios in the contract to give them extra protection from any uncertainty in the legislative arena in the future (as we witnessed with our Governor who tried unsuccessfully to weaken them a couple of years ago).
  6. lizzyj

    CNA's Union-Busting in Ohio-An Open Letter

    "So-called neutrality agreements occur under the provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. The CNA has had many elections under the same provisions for neutrality. Neutrality agreements are not the issue..yes NNOC/CNA has won neutriality agreements and subsequent elcetions but the BIG DIFFERENCE was that the agreeement included a requirement that 30% of the the RNs being organized had to sign authorization cards stating they wanted NNOC/CNA represenation before filing for an election and before having the rights to go inside and speak with the nurses. ...and in most cases an NNOC/CNA didn't file forthe election un til over 50% signed. How many RN signed cards in Ohio? an d why wasn't that a require,ent before going fdorward with an election? It's called democracy.
  7. lizzyj

    CNA's Union-Busting in Ohio-An Open Letter

    Hey there-lets have a reality check and put this into a larger perspective- Under its current leadership (Andy Stern), SEIU has repeatedly signed deals with employers that compromise RN (and other employyees) standards, scope of practice, and endanger patients in exchange for getting more and more new members. It's purely a numbers gain for SEIU. SEIU has signed off on hosital closures, lobbied for hospitals against reforms to crack down on unsafe conditions and supports proposals to erode nursing practice. SEIU JOINED CA.'S HOSITAL INDUSTRY IN LOBBYING AGAINST NNOC/ CNA's HISTORIC RN-TO-PATIENT RATIOS. T hey continue to sponsor and lobby for weakended fake staffing bills in states all throughout the country while NNOC has introduced and is fighting for real ratio laws in Ohio, Ilinois, Texas, Arizona and Maine, Hey colleagues-the proof is in the pudding. Ca.'s ratios ( authored, lobbyed, and defended all by CNA alone) have proved to be tremendously successful-since the law was signed there are 86,000 more active license RNs in the state...many of them travelers who have worked in CNA hospitals and decide to take residence in an enviroment where they can provide quality care as well as retire with dignity. Questions anyone?
  8. insurers hijack california healthcare u nbelievable. yesterday most of california's major insurance corporations (blue shield, kaiser, cigna, etc. etc.) testified in support of arnold schwarzenegger's healthcare reform bill...and the donations they have given to assemblymembers was money well-spent, as the bill passed and was sent to the senate. [http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2007/december/rns-say-latest-health-bill-even-more-flawed-still-a-boondoggle-for-insurance-companies-while-affordability-provisions-are-eroded.html no wonder the private insurance corporations love this bill:] by including an "individual mandate," it creates a forced market where individuals are forced to purchase expensive, wasteful products from the very people who wrecked our healthcare in the first place. oh, but that's not all. other provisions from the bill: * insurance companies can continue to deny medical care they brand as "not medically necessary" or experimental, deny access to specialists, and deny tests - even when those care options or treatment are recommended by a physician. * insurance companies can continue to charge whatever they want. the bill has no limits on escalating premiums, deductibles, co-pays, or other rising costs. * individuals are still forced to buy insurance without guarantees of what they are buying or whether they can afford it. * fails to include the much discussed requirement of employer contributions which are left to a separate initiative to go before voters next november. "without an employer mandate, the concept of 'shared responsibility' is out the window, and it just becomes an individual mandate bill, with all the onus and burden on individuals and families," said cna/nnoc legislative director donna gerber. it's appropriate that individuals are forced to purchase insurance products without knowing what they're getting--because legislators voted for the bill without knowing how it was going to be funded. oh, that! the ironic part is that the bill relies of george bush sending california $4.7 billion in health aid, because we all know how much he loves to fund healthcare. if this process sounds vaguely familiar, [http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/574846.html it's exactly what happened with the enron deregulation some years ago.] so why, one wonders, would the governor and the speaker push an incomplete, unclear and legally questionable health plan, especially when they face an immense deficit in the state budget that senate president pro tem don perata rightly says should be addressed first? political ego. the two politicians said they'd do it this year, so with two weeks remaining in the year they wanted to claim to have done something - no matter that it is, at best, a work-in-progress that has generated as much opposition as it has support, with labor unions, consumer groups, employers and health care groups divided by ideology and self-interest. it's a lousy way to make public policy that could affect the lives of millions of californians - just like the ill-conceived, sloppily written energy scheme 11 years ago. if this is worth doing, it's worth doing right, not as a cheesy stunt a few days before christmas that, incidentally, cost taxpayers about $20,000 in expenses. another bitter irony of the bill is that it [http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2007/12/14/mass_panel_approves_changes_to_subsidized_residents_health_plan/ ignores the problems in massachusetts,] where the boston globe has recently reported that in the face of costs next year that could climb 14 percent, state officials are considering sharp increases in co-payments and other out-of-pocket costs for massachusetts families, fewer choices for consumers, and cuts in payments to doctors and hospitals. that's right, you're required by law to purchase insurance--and the insurers have the freedom to jack up your rates as much as they dang please. that's compounding the problem of financial risk and insecurity for patients. the good news is that this bill has been losing support faster than george bush. labor unions and patient advocates, who rightly support healthcare reform, are now bitterly divided as they see the ugly insurance corporation giveaway wearing reform drag. [http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-health18dec18,0,4788656.story?coll=la-home-center so the bill passed the assembly.] it goes to the senate, where california's hellacious budget deficit makes its passage uncertain. if it does pass, it will lose on the ballot in november. the california nurses association will of course be leading a coalition of healthcare activists to block the bill--details coming. this is california folks, we gotta stop it here so they don't do this nationally. in the meantime, i'm going to leave you with a partial list of the groups who support this bill, and support corporate welfare in the drag of healthcare reform: albertson's allscripts blue shield california association of health plans catholic healthcare west cigna daughters of charity health system integrated healthcare association kaiser permanente lindora medical clinics longs drugs memorial care molina health care pacificare/united plymouth health seiu international silicon valley leadership group small business california small business majority sutter hospital chain we'll take a look at what's up below ...cross-posted at the [http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association's] breakroom blog, as we organize for guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model
  9. i hate to be melodramatic, but that's pretty much what it comes down to.[/b] [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21714869/ at least according to today's report finding that] america is last among industrialized democracies in terms of infant mortality. because our healthcare system is set up to guarantee billions of dollars of profit to unnecessary insurance corporations, kids born here are more likely to die than they are in countries with guaranteed healthcare through the single-payer model. ...cross-posted at the [http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association's] breakroom blog, as we organize for guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model. [http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21655131/ one place this hits hard is memphis,] along with other cities with predominantly african-american populations. african-american kids are two and a half times more likely than white kids to die in infancy. racism starts early, i guess. this is the context in which rudy giuliani stated his big lie about cancer patients being better of in america than europe. he's been proven wrong but refuses to apologize. [http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ezra_klein/2007/11/giulianis_cancer_myth.html ezra klein takes a look.] one of the real flashpoints for the battle over healthcare is in kentucky and west virginia, where [http://www.kentucky.com/news/state/story/226717.html nurses across the country are traveling to support their striking colleagues] in the appalachian regional healthcare system. arh is trying to bump up their profits by slashing the number of nurses caring for patients. profits over patients indeed. in california, we're working hard to stop a fake reform plan that includes an individual mandate, e.g. a requirement that every person purchase expensive, wasteful insurance products. fortunately,[http://www.sacbee.com/walters/story/483856.html public opinion is turning against this nasty little brew] cooked up by arnold schwarzenegger and aided by the capitulation of some key democrats who are also on the insurance industry (and hospital industry) payroll to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. if we can break it here, we can break it anywhere!
  10. lizzyj

    The Fight for Barbara Boxer's Senate Seat

    I have greast respect for our feisty Senator...and besides her major rival would be Arnold Scwazanegger, a great "friend" to nurses in california. I think not
  11. amidst the talk of the 2008 senate races, senator barbara boxer may be the most endangered incumbent in the class of 2010.[http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/460989.html polling came out this week finding that she narrowly trails arnold schwarzenegger in a projected matchup. and now the health insurance industry has come up with a devilish scheme to prop up arnold, increase their revenues by hundreds of millions of dollars, end the drive for genuine healthcare reform all in one fell swoop...with boxer's senate seat being collateral damage in this scenario. we'll take a look below...cross-posted at the [http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association's] breakroom blog, as we organize to make 2007 the year of guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model. there's a fake debate going on right now, with insurers funding both sides. governor arnold's proposal is to require individuals to purchase expensive, wasteful, private insurance products. some democrats in the legislature are countering with a proposal to force employers to purchase these same products. really, what's not for insurers to like? and now we are presented with a strange political kabuki between these two proposals. advocates on both sides are bashing the other--with arguments that would apply exactly equally to their own proposal. so yesterday, in a bit of capitol irony, schwarzenegger's health care plan was heard on halloween--and it is scary and full of treats for insurance donors. the charge that the legislators made against his plan? [http://www.mercurynews.com/localnewsheadlines/ci_7337740 it's unaffordable!] but their counter-plan, for so-called employer mandates, is just as bad. that's the system we have now, but more. and it's a recipe out-of-control premiums, rising co-pays and deductibles, and an entire industry devoted to denial of care. in short, we'd have the healthcare crisis we already do. we don't know the third act of this drama. but since the sides aren't really too far apart, there's a good chance that schwarzenegger will compromise, look like a conquering hero, bring fake healthcare reform to california, and be all set up to turn the wonderful barbara boxer out of the senate in 2010, with full complicity of a number of legislators who are heavy on the payroll of the big insurance corporations. [http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-cap1nov01,1,2181218,print.column?coll=la-headlines-california george skelton, dean of the california press, doesn't think so,] but neither he nor i are privy to the planning sessions that the insurers have convened between arnold and their democratic allies. the sad part is that after the legislature passed a guaranteed healthcare, single-payer bill last year, arnold set the terms of this year's debate by vetoing it. now the capitol insiders are running around saying, "let's get something, anything done so we look good." [http://www.mercurynews.com/opinion/ci_7275575 malinda markowitz, rn, a member of cna/nnoc's council of presidents, takes on this] argument, saying: sadly, the main beneficiaries of a rushed "compromise" will be the same insurance companies that created the present crisis. they would harvest millions of new customers, with the government using its power and the public purse to further an insurance industry that will continue to be able to profiteer and deny care. we don't have to turn just to massachusetts to see an example of how this can lead to disastrous public policy. a decade ago, the same "consensus" pushed the hurried passage of energy deregulation. that was followed by blackouts, skyrocketing energy costs for consumers, financial calamity for the state, and open thievery by enron and other energy corporations. californians should demand that legislators pull the plug before we plunge into another disaster. and in case we needed it, here's one more reason to fight for genuine healthcare reform on the single-payer model: [http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2007-10-30-uninsuredvets_n.htm nearly two million veterans,] who already face a number of challenges, have no coverage at all. that's just not right.
  12. [http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/us/politics/29health.html?_r=1&ref=washington&oref=slogin the new york times reports today that healthcare corporations] have decided that the democrats are the party they really really love after all....to the tune of $6.5 million this year alone, with just $4.8 million going to the republicans. this marks a major change from the 2004 and 2000 campaigns. not surprisingly, frontrunners clinton and obama also lead this race. hospitals, drug companies, hmos and insurers all gave more money to the democratic candidates than to the republican ones. could this be a key reason for the "mandate fever" that some of the democratic candidates have? mandating individuals to purchase expensive insurance products, or employers to provide them, is the kind of policy that pads the bottom line of insurers without really tacking the crisis in healthcare. most of the big donors probably aren't lobbying for the kind of guaranteed, single-payer system that is succeeding in nearly every other industrialized democracy. meanwhile, trade pub modern healthcare (reg. req'd) reports that hospital industry profits have just set another record--$35.2 billion in 2006. that's just the profits folks, not counting the high executive salaries, the guys handing the checks to politicians, and the bureaucrats who shoulder on in their fight with the insurance industry over care dollars. that profit, incidentally, of $35 billion is the exact amount needed to cover 4 million more kids with the schip program. just saying... speaking of [http://www.sacbee.com/111/story/457950.html young people without healthcare,] aurelio rojas reports that people in their 20's are increasingly unable to afford health insurance and are simply going without. [http://www.sltrib.com/business/ci_7299789 some doctors are so sick of the insurance industry,] that they're just moving to flat flee yearly charges--no insurance accepted. [http://www.dailysouthtown.com/news/opinion/editorials/622026,102807edithealth.article finally, in chicago, there's a move to make the public health system care] more about patients than patronage. it's about time.... cross-posted at the [http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association's] breakroom blog, as we organize to make 2007 the year of guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model.
  13. when even [http://www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_10_22/cover.html a magazine called "the american conservative" counsels] the republican presidential candidates that they can't live on hillary-hate alone, something is happening. as nurses fighting for guaranteed healthcare, the california nurses association/national nurses organizing committee tracks this trend in terms of health policy. [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rose-ann-demoro/memo-to-the-gop-stopping_b_69472.html i will let our executive director rose ann demoro sum it up: attacking hillary clinton is not a health plan.] you can click through to the full article, but here's a taste: apparently taking their leadership from karl rove who warned that the republican candidates must focus on healthcare because the issue is "on the mind of a lot of swing voters," the republican candidates for president have now latched on to healthcare. but in the true spirit of their mentor rove, it appears they think our biggest healthcare crisis is the potential election of hillary clinton. hearing their fulminations about "socialized medicine" and "hillary care" almost makes you wonder what they've been drinking. in a new report, george lakoff's rockridge institute aptly describes the approach of clinton and the other top tier democrats as the "neoliberal mode of thought" in its dubious reliance on regulation and technocratic changes to an industry that needs to be dismantled, not tweaked. but at least clinton and company are talking about comprehensive reform. the republican candidates' healthcare policies recall the words attributed, probably erroneously, to marie antoinette whose infamous solution to mass shortages of bread was "let them eat cake." ...cross-posted at the [http://www.guaranteedhealthcare.org/blog national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association's] breakroom blog, as we organize to make 2007 the year of guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model.
  14. lizzyj

    HUGE: Fake CA Health Reform is DEAD

    Thank-you space nurse for posting one of sadly many many examples of the impending death of employer-based healthcare insurance
  15. lizzyj

    HUGE: Fake CA Health Reform is DEAD

    The kind of single payer system being put forward in bills SB 840 in California nad HR 676 are a unique American style nati0nal health insurance that allows you to pick your provider and that doesn't dismantle the current privatre hospitals. The diffrence is that everyone is covered which expands the risk pool. You may have decent insurance now, but employer based healthcare coverage is becoming more and more unaffordable with more and more out of pocket costs and less coverage. The percentage of employers who provide healthinsurace is decreasing dramatically every year.
  16. huge: fake ca health reform is dead more than schip, the important action in the movement for guaranteed healthcare is happening in california, where the insurance industry almost pulled off the big scam, getting governor arnold schwarzenegger and speaker fabian nunez to cooperate on a plan forcing the sale of more expensive, unworkable insurance products--and blocking the guaranteed, single-payer reform this country needs. [/b]cross-posted at the national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association's breakroom blog, as we organize to make 2007 the year of guaranteed healthcare on the single-payer model.[/size][/b] the quick background for those of you who missed it...insurance corporations have set the terms of the debate this year in california, with schwarzenegger proposing that all individuals be forced to purchase private insurance products, and nunez and certain corporate dems countering that all employers be forced to purchase them on behalf of their workforce. both plans would give more customers, revenue, and medical influence to the very insurance corporations who have ruined our healthcare system...while doing nothing to actually solve our healthcare crisis. everything has changed as a broad coalition of mainstream dems has realized that arnold's plan is unaffordable for the average patient. of course it is! private insurers waste one-third of care dollars on overhead and profits. you simply cannot do that and provide people with the care they need. of course, any plan built on private insurance corporations is unworkable. but what really kills the deal is the fact that speaker nunez' wife has just gone on the payroll of the hospital industry, having been hired by a lobbying group funded by the california hospital association. it is quite possible that he will be legally required to recuse himself on all healthcare bills...including the one he is trying to push through with schwarzenegger. even if not, the symbolism of doubling his family income through hmo money leaves him with no credibility on the issue. or as zenei cortez, rn, put it: "californians can no longer trust that he will represent the public interest and not the financial interest of a large industry that has put his wife on their payroll." of course you gotta feel for the nunez family...it's not easy to fund global luxury travel anymore! to join the fight for guaranteed healthcare (with a "medicare for all" or singlepayer financing), visit guaranteedhealthcare.org, a project of the national nurses organizing committee/california nurses association.