Health care in the US

Missouri officials tracked women’s menstrual periods in effort to shut down state’s last abortion provider

By Jessica Goldstein, 13 November 2019

The state’s spreadsheet contained confidential, non-medical information, such as women’s names and medical ID numbers, which could be used by the state to identify and locate them—effectively spying on patients.

How Ford and the UAW plan to cut autoworkers’ health care

By Esther Galen, 6 November 2019

The joint Company-Union Committee overseeing health care will make drastic changes to help Ford cut costs.

New York University’s new mental health initiative cheats students in need of counseling

By Sam Dalton, 29 October 2019

NYU has launched a wellness program that is inadequate for the mental health needs of its students.

Continued rise in STDs highlights bipartisan attack on American healthcare system

By Erik Schreiber, 17 October 2019

As the CDC itself implies, the continuing increase in the incidence of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis is a scandal and an indictment of both capitalist parties.

As US vaping-related lung illnesses soar, FDA found negligent in enforcing e-cig regulations

By Benjamin Mateus, 7 October 2019

A report issued by the NIH’s drug abuse section highlights the dramatic rise in vaping among teenagers; 37.3 percent of 12th graders reported they had vaped in the past 12 months.

Jeff Bezos’ Whole Foods slashes medical benefits for nearly 2,000 part-time workers

By Eddie Haywood, 3 October 2019

Bezos, net worth $115 billion, makes enough money in 2 to 6 hours to more than cover the cost of an entire year of benefits for all of the workers facing cuts.

Study predicts significant outbreaks of measles in Texas due to low vaccination rates

By Gary Joad, 2 October 2019

Texas, the second most populous state, grants the greatest number of vaccine exemptions for personal philosophical and religious reasons of any state in US.

Striking University of Chicago nurses return to work after five-day lock-out

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2019

The nurses returned to work on Wednesday without any resolution of their grievances.

US: Strike of 85,000 Kaiser Permanente workers called off by unions

By Kevin Martinez, 27 September 2019

The strike planned for October 15 has been called off after a tentative agreement was reached without any input from Kaiser Permanente’s 85,000 workers.

US healthcare workers face rise in workplace violence

By Alex Johnson, 20 September 2019

One in four nurses is assaulted on the job on any given day as the healthcare crisis creates a toxic workplace environment.

Strike date of October 14 set for 80,000 Kaiser Permanente health care workers across US

By Kevin Martinez, 19 September 2019

The walkout would be the largest strike in the US since 1997 and follow close on the heels of the strike by 46,000 GM autoworkers which began at midnight Sunday.

Purdue Pharma, accused of deliberately fueling deadly US opioid crisis, files for bankruptcy

By Kate Randall, 18 September 2019

An agreement with plaintiffs would absolve the Sackler family of culpability for the hundreds of thousands of deaths linked to promotion and sale of OxyContin.

Abrupt closures of two hospitals in West Virginia and Ohio leave region reeling

By Naomi Spencer, 16 September 2019

The termination of critical healthcare services will have a deeply damaging impact on the communities, and potentially deadly consequences for individuals who rely on them.

New York City mayor declares end of measles public health emergency

By Gary Joad, 16 September 2019

During a nine-month period, 52 people were hospitalized and 16 individuals placed in intensive care units. Eighty percent of those contracting measles were children.

US study shows: Poverty and social inequality are killers

By Patrick Martin, 12 September 2019

A study by the Government Accountability Office released this week shows that poor Americans are nearly twice as likely to die before they reach old age as rich Americans.

The epidemic of nurse suicides and the US healthcare crisis

By Kate Randall, 7 September 2019

The tragic rise of nurse suicides is a result of the intersection of the lives and labor of this workforce with the brutality of the capitalist system, which values profit above and the health of the population.

“The stress in healthcare is at a tipping point”

An interview with nurse scientist Judy Davidson on rising nurse suicides

By Alex Johnson, 2 September 2019

Judy Davidson was part of the psychiatric research team that recently uncovered the high incidence of suicide in the nursing industry.

Johnson & Johnson v. State of Oklahoma: How the courts are covering for Big Pharma

By Genevieve Leigh, 29 August 2019

The toothless ruling follows a well-worn pattern in which giant corporations, after committing horrific social crimes, get off with a relatively small fine.

New US public charge rule may deter immigrants from vaccinating children

By Meenakshi Jagadeesan, 28 August 2019

Fear of being denied permanent residency for using social services is already causing immigrant parents to avoid accessing essential medical services for their children.

New studies reveal growing epidemic of nurse suicides in the US

By Alex Johnson, 16 August 2019

Hospital conditions and the accompanying mental health strain are driving increasing numbers of nurses to take their own lives.

US doctors’ group urges probe into child migrant deaths from influenza

By Kate Randall, 2 August 2019

According to autopsy results, at least three migrant children have died in US custody as a result of influenza and its complications since December 2018, a rate of death substantially higher than that among children in the general population.

“They opened fire as if we were animals”

AMLO’s police gun down immigrant near US border

By Andrea Lobo, 2 August 2019

A migrant was shot dead while running away from police with his eight-year-old daughter hours before Trump praised Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government at a rally in Ohio.

Drug companies poured 76 billion opioid pills into US neighborhoods in just six years

By Genevieve Leigh, 19 July 2019

Newly released data shows that between 2006 and 2012, as the drug epidemic spiraled out of control, drug companies flooded the country with oxycodone and hydrocodone pain pills.

Minnesota nurses struggle betrayed by union

By Jonas Boquist, 10 July 2019

The piecemeal ratifications carried out by the MNA diluted the strength of all 13,000 nurses and facilitated the implementation of contracts acceptable to hospital management.

Global conflict situations, poverty lead to rise in mental health crises

By Alex Johnson, 9 July 2019

US imperialism and its allies bear principal responsibility for the wars and military interventions that have wrought devastation throughout the world.

Giant US healthcare corporations fear hostile takeover by high-tech companies

By Benjamin Mateus, 8 July 2019

While the US population has expanded by 75 percent since 1960, to approximately 325 million people, healthcare expenditure, in constant dollars, has risen approximately 2000 percent.

Hundreds quit union as UAW pushes through sellout deal at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo, Ohio

By Shannon Jones, 5 July 2019

Nurses who struck for six weeks are outraged and disgusted by the conduct of the UAW, which scabbed on their strike and then rammed through a rotten agreement.

Protesting nurses speak out in Long Beach, California

By Rafael Azul and Kimie Saito, 28 June 2019

“Patients are not numbers! Maximum patients + minimum nurses = maximum profits. And the costs are passed on to the consumers and us.”

Union works to sabotage unity of Minnesota nurses’ struggle

By Matt Rigel, 28 June 2019

The Minnesota Nurses Association is working to sell out nurses in Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region by negotiating contracts at some hospitals while others remain unsettled.

New petrochemical complex could create a “cancer alley” on Ohio River

By John Ashbrook, 28 June 2019

The Trump administration is backing a tri-state effort to build a huge fossil fuel processing facility that threatens public health and the environment.

Trump plan will slash Medicaid and food stamps

By Norisa Diaz, 26 June 2019

The Trump administration is pursuing a change in the way the federal government calculates inflation to cut hundreds of thousands of people from basic social services.

Anger and disgust over UAW betrayal of Mercy St. Vincent nurses strike in Toledo, Ohio

By Shannon Jones, 24 June 2019

The union’s claim that a return to the bargaining table would lead to an improved deal, was nothing but a cynical ploy.

Unreported releases from coal ash ponds may be more widespread in US than previously known

By John Ashbrook, 21 June 2019

Millions of people are potentially exposed to toxic coal ash, which can cause bone cancers, leukemia and nervous system and brain damage.

Suicide rates for doctors and young physicians among highest in the US population

By Alex Johnson, 17 June 2019

Doctors are often hesitant to seek treatment, due to the stigma associated with mental health problems.

“UAW doesn’t care about us!”

Nurses outraged over UAW sellout of hospital strike in Toledo, Ohio

By Jerry White, 14 June 2019

After nurses struck for six weeks, the United Auto Workers union unilaterally ordered them back to work, demanding that they vote on a deal without time to study or discuss it.

Minnesota nursing home workers carry out two-day strike

By Jonas Boquist, 14 June 2019

Nursing home workers struck the Guardian Angels Care Center in Elk River last week to fight for improved wages and safe staffing levels.

“We went out with the nurses, we should go back with the nurses”

Mercy Health strikers in Toledo, Ohio denounce UAW sabotage of their struggle

By Shannon Jones, 3 June 2019

In an act of blatant strikebreaking, the UAW organized a vote by support staff and technicians at Mercy Health St. Vincent in order to isolate striking nurses and force them back to work.

UAW calls for contract vote by Mercy Health support and technical staff in a bid to isolate nurses

By Shannon Jones, 1 June 2019

If the contract is ratified, medical technicians could return to work after Monday, in what is effectively an attempt by the union to force workers to cross the picket line.

Democratic governor signs Louisiana fetal “heartbeat” abortion ban

By Kate Randall, 31 May 2019

Louisiana is the fifth state to pass bans on abortions based on detection of a fetal heartbeat, following Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio.

As UAW starts closed-door talks with management

Toledo hospital strikers call for broader mobilization

By Shannon Jones, 20 May 2019

The hospital workers, members of the UAW, who have been supported on their picket line by other sections of UAW workers, must break through the union's straitjacket and broaden their struggle further.

Rising US health insurance costs take toll on workers

By Alex Johnson, 17 May 2019

Since 2007, annual deductibles for job-based health plans—the most common form of coverage—have increased fourfold, with the average for plans rising to an estimated $1,300.

More than one million Americans lost health insurance in 2018

By Alex González, 14 May 2019

After decreasing or leveling off in past years, the number of uninsured is on the rise, with the poor or near-poor more than three times as likely to be uninsured as the non-poor.

Questcor Pharmaceuticals and Mallinckrodt: Financial parasitism and the US pharmaceutical industry

By Brian Dixon, 14 May 2019

The business strategy of Questcor and Mallinckrodt reflects the parasitic and predatory nature of the pharmaceutical industry under the pressure of finance capital.

Two thousand nurses and support staff strike at Toledo, Ohio hospital

By Jerry White, 8 May 2019

Nurses, technicians and other support staff walked out at Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center Monday to fight against increased workloads and out-of-pocket health care costs.

New York City declares public health emergency over measles outbreak

By Kate Randall, 11 April 2019

New York City has seen 285 confirmed measles cases since the outbreak began in the fall, with 21 requiring hospitalizations, including five admissions to intensive care units.

Trump backs court action to end health coverage for 25 million people

By Patrick Martin, 28 March 2019

While the Trump administration targets Obamacare for full repeal, the Democrats are dropping calls for “Medicare-for-all” in favor of billions more for the private insurance companies.

Houston chemical fire: Residents ordered to “shelter-in-place” due to benzene danger

By Jacob Crosse, 22 March 2019

Residents of Deer Park and Galena Park, east of the Texas city, have been the most affected by the fire at Intercontinental Terminals Company.

US studies: More misery brought to you by Big Pharma

Sharp rise in fentanyl overdose deaths, ADHD-drug-induced psychosis, prescription drug rationing due to cost

By Kate Randall, 22 March 2019

A week rarely passes without the publication of a major study documenting the misery unleashed on Americans by the US pharmaceutical industry and its rapacious drive for profits.

Obesity-related cancers rise among US millennials

By Alex Johnson, 18 March 2019

One of the principal factors contributing to the rise in obesity rates among American adults is the lack of access to healthful foods among low-income and rural populations.

“Deaths of despair” continue to soar

US deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide at all-time high

By Kate Randall, 8 March 2019

The devastating toll of 150,000 Americans dying from alcohol and drug-induced fatalities and suicides in 2017 is seen by the political establishment and pharmaceutical CEOs as the “cost of doing business.”

US Senate hearings on drug prices provide “friendly warning” to pharmaceuticals

By Brian Dixon, 2 March 2019

While some of the members of the committee occasionally posed as industry critics, the Senate hearing made it clear that no serious action will be taken to rein in high drug prices.

Rise in drug abuse among women and heterosexual men diagnosed with syphilis

By Benjamin Mateus, 27 February 2019

Many of those affected lack steady employment, health care and stable housing, and face an abusive penal system.

FDA advisor criticizes agency’s response to opioid epidemic

By Brian Dixon, 6 February 2019

The chair of the FDA’s opioid advisory committee claimed the agency is manipulating data in favor of the pharmaceutical companies seeking approval for new opioid painkillers.

US: Measles outbreak in Washington state prompts state of emergency

By Kate Randall, 30 January 2019

In addition to the US, there has also been an uptick of people contracting measles in Canada and across Europe due to people foregoing the vaccine.

Opioid overdose deaths triple among US teens and young children

By Kate Randall, 31 December 2018

The depth of the opioid crisis facing young people points to the woefully inadequate response of the government to this social catastrophe as it spirals out of control.

Thousands face loss of mental health coverage in the US

By Matthew Taylor, 29 December 2018

Congress has eliminated the Medicaid-sponsored program in line with the larger push by the ruling class to dismantle social programs.

Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional

By Kate Randall, 17 December 2018

The ruling was opposed by healthcare groups and, if upheld, threatens to throw insurance markets into chaos and strip coverage from tens of millions of Americans.

West Virginia: Task force concludes without a “fix” for public workers’ insurance

By Clement Daly, 17 December 2018

Throughout the strike and pro-forma hearings, teachers and public service workers demanded that health care be funded through increased taxes on the state’s oil and gas industry.

Over 4,000 Kaiser Permanente mental health workers on limited strike in California

By Kevin Martinez and Kim Saito, 14 December 2018

The National Union of Healthcare Workers is ending the five-day strike tomorrow without resolving workers’ demands for higher wages, more staffing and the restoration of pensions for new-hires.

More people with mental illnesses seeking treatment from US emergency rooms

By Alex Johnson, 5 December 2018

Grossly inadequate funding for mental health means that patients swing from poorly-equipped group home facilities to emergency rooms—and, ultimately, jails and prisons.

Public health expert speaks on the crisis of American healthcare

Cases like Hedda Martin’s heart transplant denial “will continue to happen”

By Nancy Hanover, 3 December 2018

Workers and young people nationwide decried Martin's callous treatment, donating generously out of their own pockets, after Spectrum Health's Richard DeVos Heart and Lung Transplant Clinic told her to make “a fundraising effort of $10,000.”

Plead for charity or die: A blunt message from the American health care system

By Nancy Hanover, 28 November 2018

One of the ugly secrets of US medical care—the rationing of life-saving procedures based on ability to pay—was exposed by the recent experiences of a Michigan woman seeking a heart transplant.

Detroit Medical Center doctors fired after speaking out for patient safety

By Joseph Lorenz, 9 October 2018

In a statement announcing his resignation from the medical staff, Dr. Ted Schreiber said, “Unfortunately, the current focus of some in health care is on profits and stock holder value.”

Mobilize the working class to defend nurses and secure the right to health care!

By Niles Niemuth, 2 October 2018

The interests of nurses cannot be separated from the fight to ensure the social right to health care through the abolition of the for-profit health care system.

Congress readies band-aid measure for opioid crisis

By Tom Eley, 28 September 2018

The bill will do little to slow the growing epidemic of opioid addiction and death.

Victors Care brings class-based medical care to University of Michigan hospital

By Matthew Brennan, 28 September 2018

The foundation of Victors Care is that it grants easier and faster access to physicians, as well as comprehensive preventive care, for those who can afford to pay an additional $3,600 per year out of pocket.

Support the fight of University of Michigan nurses!

By Niles Niemuth, 18 September 2018

Nurses at the University of Michigan health system have voted overwhelmingly for strike authorization in defense of adequate staffing as well as decent pay and benefits.

Six thousand University of Michigan nurses voting on strike authorization

By Acchutta Veeraiah, 11 September 2018

Nursing staff at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor are working without a contract amid threats of cuts to staffing, wages, retirement benefits and opposition to a new tier-system for care.

Nashville’s shuttering of women’s health clinic leaves only one abortion facility in the city

By Warren Duzak and Keisha Gibbs, 3 September 2018

Despite the billions invested in healthcare, and dozens of Nashville area hospitals, poor and working class women are limited to one small clinic for elective abortions.

A socialist response to the opioid crisis

By Niles Niemuth, 23 August 2018

Ending the opioid crisis that is raging throughout Michigan and across the US requires a socialist program and a frontal attack on wealth of the corporate and financial elite.

Studies: US life expectancy drops as mortality rises among younger adults

By Kate Randall, 21 August 2018

While many other countries saw a rebound in life expectancy in 2016, the US and the UK saw declines for two consecutive years.

Texas firefighters denied workers compensation for cancer

By Todd Denton, 21 August 2018

More than 90 percent of firefighters in Texas are being refused medical coverage and paid sick leave for cancer caused by on-the-job toxic exposures.

New CDC estimates: A record 72,000 US drug overdose deaths in 2017

By Kate Randall, 17 August 2018

The catastrophic toll of opioid deaths, which is driving falling life expectancies, casts a grim light on the state of America in the 21st century.

US hospitals fail to prevent unnecessary maternal deaths and injuries

By Brian Dixon, 30 July 2018

Based on recent data, a USA Today article last Thursday concluded that the United States was the most dangerous country in the developed world for women to give birth.

Hospital workers go on strike in Rhode Island

By John Marion, 25 July 2018

Workers called the strike after rejecting a new contract by vote last week.

Report exposes rise in alcohol-related deaths among Millennials in US

By Isaac Finn, 20 July 2018

The increase is one part of a rising number of “deaths of despair” caused by suicide and drug and alcohol abuse, which have contributed to declining life expectancy in the US.

Vermont Medical Center nurses fight low pay and understaffing

By Mike Ingram, 17 July 2018

Nurses at the University of Vermont Medical Center held a 48-hour strike last week after months of stalled negotiations for a new contract.

Latest volley aimed at gutting health care for workers

Trump administration freezes “risk adjustment” payments to health insurers

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2018

Over the last year, the White House has issued executive orders and undertaken administrative actions to undercut the program popularly known as Obamacare.

Study shows 144,000 US inmates denied care for hepatitis C

By E.P. Milligan, 7 July 2018

If left untreated, the condition can potentially mean a slow and agonizing death sentence.

Two hundred nurses at California hospital authorize strike

By Brian Dixon, 19 June 2018

The nurses have raised concerns over understaffing and the failure of the hospital to provide adequate “meal and break relief.”

Trump administration supports lawsuit challenging Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions protections

By Kate Randall, 15 June 2018

The action is the latest effort to chip away at the legislation after two failures to repeal it outright.

Trump speech on prescription drug prices cheers pharmaceutical giants

By Brian Dixon, 14 May 2018

Trump’s speech made clear that his administration will take no action that might interfere with the drug industry’s ability to price drugs as high as the market will bear.

53,000 workers begin three-day strike at California universities and hospitals

By Evelyn Rios, 7 May 2018

Workers voted overwhelmingly in favor of a strike in April, rejecting the UC’s last offer of 3 percent yearly wage increases and a prorated, lump-sum payment of $750.

Health risks found in over 80 percent of NYCHA apartments

By Philip Guelpa, 17 April 2018

Residents are exposed to peeling paint, mold, damaged plaster, rodents, insects, inoperable appliances, severe electrical hazards, lack of heat, and malfunctioning smoke detectors.

More US states imposing Medicaid work requirements

By Kate Randall, 14 April 2018

Some states are considering expanding Medicaid while at the same time imposing work requirements, premium payments and drug testing of recipients.

Mississippi governor signs the nation’s most restrictive anti-abortion measure

By Shelley Connor, 24 March 2018

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant signed into law the toughest restrictions on abortion currently seen in the US, banning all abortions past 15 weeks gestation.

Trump demands death penalty for drug dealers as answer to opioid overdose crisis

By Niles Niemuth, 20 March 2018

Trump blamed the crisis on America’s supposedly lax drug laws and pointed to countries which have “zero tolerance” policies, including the death penalty for dealers and traffickers.

Strike at Ferguson, Missouri nursing home ends after 104 days

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 March 2018

The Christian Care Nursing Home strike has ended with the SEIU agreeing to a derisory 20-cent per hour wage increase.

California: 18,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses authorize strike

By Brian Dixon, 12 March 2018

The not-for-profit organization gained net income of $3.6 billion in 2017, but uses none of these fund to address the issues driving nurses to authorise a strike.

Hospital workers protest layoffs in Michigan

By Carlos Delgado and Esther Galen, 10 March 2018

Two giant hospital chains, Ascension and Tenet, have announced layoffs and unit closures

UNICEF: Social inequality costs the lives of 7,000 newborns daily

By Shelley Connor, 22 February 2018

According to a UNICEF report released on Tuesday, 2.6 million newborns die annually. Most of these deaths are preventable and most of them are due to social inequality.

Records show neglect of Florida school gunman’s mental health

By Trévon Austin, 19 February 2018

Cruz’s counselor told the Florida Department of Children and Families that he was reported to have “an emotional behavioral disability” and was diagnosed with autism.

Texas woman, 38, falls victim to US flu epidemic and exorbitant drug costs

By Kate Randall, 13 February 2018

Heather Holland’s death casts a grim light on the deplorable state of the US health care system and the government’s lack of preparedness and funding in the face of this season’s deadly flu epidemic.

Studies connect Medicaid work requirements to poor health

By Shelley Connor, 12 February 2018

While the Trump administration heralds Medicaid work requirements as a path towards better health and prosperity for America’s poor, recent studies reveal the opposite.

US flu epidemic rages on, with more deaths and record hospitalizations

By Kate Randall, 6 February 2018

As the flu outbreak shows no signs of waning, the CDC has been hit by a scandal forcing its head to resign and the Trump administration is proposing drastic cutbacks to the programs that fight such epidemics.

“Big Sugar” and metabolic syndrome, killers of millions annually worldwide

By Gary Joad, 2 February 2018

Mass consumption of excessive quantities of sugar plays a major rolein adolescent and adult diabetes, heart disease, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cancer, a fact that has long been suppressed by the industry and federal agencies.

One hundred years since the 1918 flu pandemic

America is unprepared for the next deadly influenza outbreak

By Kate Randall and Tom Hall, 1 February 2018

The deadliest flu season in years has demonstrated the complete inability of American capitalism to deal with a public health crisis on the scale of the 1918 Spanish Flu.

Corporate giants announce partnership to cut employer health care costs

By Barry Grey, 31 January 2018

The initiative heralds a further monopolization of health care by a handful of billionaire-run corporations and a further subordination of social needs to Wall Street.

Nashville mayor tight-lipped on plans to gut services at General Hospital

By Warren Duzak, 27 January 2018

Mayor Barry has proposed turning the hospital into an outpatient clinic, leaving the poor and working class families without an inpatient facility, hospital beds, major surgical facilities.

Deadly flu season likely to worsen internationally

By Shelley Connor, 19 January 2018

On the 100th anniversary of the Spanish Flu pandemic, a particularly deadly flu season is peaking.