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Showing posts from March, 2010

Indiana Nursing Homes, Pitiful

The Indianapolis Star rates the 510 nursing homes in Indiana by two federal agencies which are pitiful.

We get what we pay for, folks.

If we don't want to pay workers enough so that they can support their families, they will work second and third jobs. If you ever must be taken care of in a nursing home, do you want a tired, exhausted aid looking after you?

Imagine being thirsty and unable to tell anyone. Nursing homes are understaffed and the workers are working for peanuts.

Let's demand better for our seniors. You can find the article here.
Shame Shame on Indiana. Here are some Shameful Facts

Coburn is as bad as they get

The Party of “No” gets ready to strike once more against working families.As Congress considers much-needed relief for America’s jobless workers and debates proposals to jump-start the economy, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) blocked a stopgap bill to extend jobless benefits, saying its $9 billion cost should not be added to the national debt. Coburn’s block means the Senate, which goes on a two-week recess today, won’t consider helping jobless workers until at least April 12.This is the same Senator that addressed the Senate a few weeks ago and said that most of the tests that he prescribes for his patients are for him and not for the benefit of the patients.No physician better ever let me know that any test he's prescribed for me was for his benefit and not mine.I think this Senator is a crook.

What health insurance reform means for USW members, retirees right now

President Obama has signed historic health insurance reform legislation, a major bill that will help most Americans have health care.

We've put together a fact sheet to help lay out the facts and explain the immediate and longer-term impact. We'll pass along more information as soon as we get it.

Many members are reporting that employers or insurance companies are threatening workers with rate hikes, plan changes and other things because of reform. DON'T LET THEM BULLY YOU. Arm yourself with the facts and stay in touch with your union.

Here are some highlights of what reform means right now for union-negotiated plans and VEBAs:

You will NOT lose your union-negotiated private health insurance plans because of reform. Nothing in this bill changes our right to collectively bargain health plans and employers cannot drop existing plans because of reform.Current collectively bargained plans are grandfathered, meaning much of the new law does not apply to those plans until after they…

Workers, Retirees Urge Swift Action by Senate

Contact: Connie Mabin, 412-562-2616,
USW Applauds Historic Step for Health Care Reform

Workers, Retirees Urge Swift Action by Senate

Pittsburgh – The United Steelworkers (USW) today applauded the historic vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to pass health insurance reform and called on the Senate to act swiftly on the corrections legislation that will help millions of Americans.

“Today’s historic vote was a huge step in the right direction. Reform will help get our economy back on track by lowering skyrocketing health care costs, saving jobs and relieving working families and businesses from the crushing medical bills that are causing bankruptcy and heartache,” said Leo W. Gerard, International President of the USW.

“It not only makes sense economically, but it’s morally the right thing to do. Our union has fought for a long time for health care for all. We consider it a basic human right. These reforms are desp…

SOAR President Says:


After a long and difficult fight, together, we made history. I want to thank all of you for everything you’ve done as part of this incredible movement for change in America. You have responded to our every call. You wrote letters, made phone calls, participated in rallies and sit-ins across the country to deliver health care reform to a nation in crisis.

This bill isn’t perfect, but it is a major step in the right direction. It provides us an opportunity to bring much needed health care coverage to all.

Because of your hard work and dedication to this cause, over 32 million uninsured Americans will have access to affordable, quality health care coverage:

The legislation that passed the House would:

Extend health insurance coverage to millions of uninsured persons, assuring coverage for 95 percent of Americans; Ensure that coverage is affordable by providing substantial subsidies for middle income families; Implement insurance market reforms to outlaw abusive practices by insura…

Retirees Praise Historic Health Reform Vote

8815 16th Street, NW, 4th Floor Washington, D.C. 20006 (202) 637-5399

For Immediate Release Contact: David Blank (202) 637-5275
March 21, 2010

Retirees Praise Historic Health Reform Vote

Will Help Seniors Afford to See a Doctor, Fill a Prescription

The following statement was issued by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to today’s health care vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Today’s historic vote is a bold step toward helping our nation’s retirees enjoy longer, healthier lives. It will help seniors better afford to see a doctor and get a prescription filled.

“This landmark act will help current and future retirees in several specific ways:

• Closing the Medicare “doughnut hole” coverage gap so seniors will no longer have to cut dangerous corners on their medications;
• …

A No Vote Should Mean No More Insurance For Congress

Any member of the US House of Representatives that votes against health care reform should immediately be stripped of his government subsidized health care plan and required to purchase a different plan and be subject to any exclusion for any pre existing condition that member may have.

Why Joe Donnelly Will Vote YES on Health Care Reform

The U.S. House of Representatives will soon vote on health care reform legislation. This legislation will make health care affordable for the middle class, provide security for seniors, and guarantee access to health insurance for the uninsured – while reducing the federal deficit by over $100 billion over the next decade. This analysis examines the benefits of the legislation in the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, which is represented by Rep. Joe Donnelly.

In Rep. Donnelly’s district, the health care reform bill will:

Improve coverage for 412,000 residents with health insurance.Give tax credits and other assistance to up to 181,000 families and 13,500 small businesses to help them afford coverage.Improve Medicare for 108,000 beneficiaries, including closing the donut hole.Extend coverage to 64,500 uninsured residents.Guarantee that 12,900 residents with pre-existing conditions can obtain coverage.Protect 1,800 families from bankruptcy due to unaffordable health care costs.Allow …

Congressman Kucinich Does the Right Thing

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich did the right thing by coming down on the side of working families and retirees by saying yes to the healthcare overhaul legislation.

Kucinich has always been a friend of workers and seniors. He was holding out in the hopes that members of congress would accept something better such as Medicare for all. Republicans simply wouldn't deny their insurance company pals.

Thank you Dennis Kucinich. You are a champion for Americans.

Now, it's time for my own Congressman Joe Donnelly to also come down on the side of those who put him into office.

The Consequences of Inaction

from The Women of Steel

· Rising health care costs are crushing families and businesses, forcing small business owners to choose between health care and hiring and forcing families to make hard spending choices because of rising out of pocket health care costs.

· This problem isn’t going away unless we do right by the American people and fix it. Just yesterday we learned from a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute that if we fail to pass reform, families could see their spending on premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs jump 34 percent by 2015 and 79 percent by 2020.

· Premiums will become increasingly expensive for employers and their workers. Premiums for both single and family policies could more than double by 2020, increasing from $4,800 to $10,300 for single policies, and from $12,100 to $25,600 for family policies.

· And employers could see large increases in premium costs, from $430 billion in 2010 to $851 billi…

Joe Donnelly, Will he or Won't he?

This week, healthcare reform is expected to be voted on in the US House of Representatives.

They will be voting on the bill that was passed in the US Senate and then are expected to follow up with a legislation to make it even better.

My Congressman, Joe Donnelly, has stated that he will not vote for the Senate Bill as it is written.

My bet is that Donnelly will vote yes for the Senate version knowing that is will be followed up with a fix.

According to Families USA, nine people in Indiana die each year due to lack of the unaffordable health insurance.

Joe Donnelly, I'm convinced, will do the right thing.

The Final March For Reform

The President's Plan For Health Reform

“At this moment, we are being called upon to fulfill our duty to the citizens of this nation
and to future generations... I don’t know how passing health care will play politically, but
I do know that it’s the right thing to do. It’s right for our families. It’s right for our
businesses. It’s right for the United States of America.”



Americans across this country agree that our health care system is broken: Unaccountable
insurance companies ration care, soaring premiums cripple the budgets of our businesses and
families, and vital care remains out of reach for far too many. The time for change has come.

President Obama’s final proposal incorporates the best ideas from both parties to put
Americans in control of our own health care.



Adios Rush

As I understand it, Rush Limbaugh said that if healthcare reform passes, he will move to Costa Rica.

Just think of it---30 million more Americans get healthcare and we get rid of Limbaugh at the same time.

Oh, by the way, Costa Rica has national healthcare.

United Methodist Church on Health Care

United Methodist Church on Health CareHealth care is a basic human right … Providing the care needed to maintain health, prevent disease, and restore health after injury or illness is a responsibility each person owes others and government owes to all, a responsibility government ignores at its peril. In Ezekiel 34:4a, God points out the failures of the leadership of Israel to care for the weak: “You have not strengthened the weak, you have not healed the sick, you have not bound up the injured.” As a result all suffer. Like police and fire protection, health care is best funded through the government’s ability to tax each person equitably and directly fund the provider entities … It is unjust to construct or perpetuate barriers to physical or mental wholeness or full participation in community. We believe it is a governmental responsibility to provide all citizens with health care. — United Methodist Book of Discipline, Social Principles, ¶162V. “Health Care”

Shame Shame on Indiana

Shameful Facts

Indiana has 52 poorly performing nursing homes, the most of any state in the nation!

- "Nursing Homes: CMS's Special Focus Facility Methodology Should Better Target the Most Poorly Performing Homes, Which Tended to Be Chain Affiliated and For-Profit,"
United States Government Accountability Office, August 2009.

Indiana among 10 worst statesAbout half of Indiana's roughly 500 nursing homes offered a 'below-average' standard of care.Nearly 60% have below-average staffing levels.-Hoosier nursing homes score low: Study, citing too few on staff, rates Indiana among 10 worst states,"
Indianapolis Star, January 6, 2009

"...quality of care and level of staffing have gone down while administrative costs rose 10 percent and owners' equity and facilities' cash balances each rose 30 percent."
-Faith Laird, Indiana division of Aging Director, as quoted by the Associated Press, September 30, 2009

To Help End the Shame


Retirees Despondent After Senate’s Refusal of $250 Payment to Seniors

ALLIANCE FOR RETIRED AMERICANS8815 16th Street, NW, 4th Floor ¨ Washington, D.C. 20006 ¨ (202) 637-5399 ¨www.retiredamericans.orgFor Immediate Release
March 5, 2010Would Have Helped Many Struggling in Recession with Life-saving MedicationsThe following statement was issued today by Edward F. Coyle, Executive Director of the Alliance for Retired Americans, in reaction to the Senate’s failure to pass a $250 Economic Recovery payment for seniors, veterans, and persons with disabilities.“Retirees are frustrated and despondent after both President Obama’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ calls for a $250 payment to help those struggling in this recession have so far fallen on deaf ears.This proposed act of compassion, had it passed, would have helped 49 million Social Security recipients, many of whom have seen their retirement savings and home values badly shaken by this economic crisis.This helping hand would have made a real difference in seniors’ lives. “It was bad enough when retirees were tol…

Whirlpool Keep it Made in America

By SOAR member, Dave Kobiela

We headed out for Evansville about 8:30 am, almost a 6 hr. drive. When we arrived at Whirlpool, the police were just beginning to set up barricades, and forming a line across the office lawn. Four lanes of traffic in front of the plant, and they blocked off the nearest lane to give us a safety zone along the roadside. Local PD plus lots of ISP, there were no problems with them at all.

Local news had reported possibly 1500 to attend, but the opinion page said “no way will there be anything close to 1500 people showing up…” Well they were right. The police estimate was 5500! Virtually every Union and Trade was in attendance, many with signs, banners and American flags. A Whirlpool refrigerator was delivered and was taken through the police line to the main office doors, but we were not invited in. 70,000 petitions were in the frig, along with 50,000 that had been faxed or emailed the previous day.

The Company officials on the roof who were videotaping u…