Health care in the US

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.

Kentucky becomes first state to impose Medicaid work requirements

By Shelley Connor, 18 January 2018

Within five years, state officials estimate, the new initiative will result in 100,000 fewer Medicaid enrollments in Kentucky, saving the state $2.4 billion.

“If we can’t support patients coming in emergency rooms…more people are going to die”

Flu epidemic exposes scandalous state of US health care system

By Kate Randall, 17 January 2018

The intensity of the outbreak has strained hospitals and outpatient facilities, which are struggling with shortages of medical supplies amid an influx of sick patients.

Cost of hookworm treatment beyond reach of many Alabama residents

By Warren Duzak, 17 January 2018

Working class and poor residents in the southern US state face an outbreak of the hookworm parasite due to unsanitary conditions.

The deadly impact of Hurricane María extends to US hospitals

Power outages set off IV bag shortages

By Genevieve Leigh, 13 January 2018

Ongoing power outages in Puerto Rico have set off a severe crisis of IV bag shortages on the US mainland, exacerbated by a sharp increase in flu cases nationwide.

Trump officials say states can impose Medicaid work requirements

By Kate Randall, 12 January 2018

The administration’s aim in imposing work requirements is to gut the health care program for the poor, which currently covers about 74 million people.

The crisis of dental care under American capitalism

By Esther Galen, 11 January 2018

Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America, exposes the reality of poor dental health and lack of dental care endured by the working class and poor in the US.

Trump administration rolls back fines against nursing homes as violations mount

By Kate Randall, 30 December 2017

By one government estimate, a staggering 380,000 deaths a year may be the result of health care-associated infections in facilities for the elderly.

Health care threatened for nine million low-income US children

By Patrick Martin, 27 December 2017

The temporary “fix” to the Children’s Health Insurance Program, applied by Congress in legislation passed December 21, could actually speed the program’s collapse.

Hepatitis A outbreaks hit Southeast Michigan and San Diego

By Benjamin Mateus, 19 December 2017

San Diego, with the fourth largest community of homeless in the US, has seen 567 cases of Hepatitis A, with 382 hospitalizations and 20 deaths.

Homeless man found dead in donation bin in San Diego, California

By Kevin Martinez, 19 December 2017

The bin where the man was discovered was located in a shopping center parking lot one block away from the San Diego Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter.

CVS to purchase Aetna for $69 billion, in move expected to disrupt health care industry

By Gabriel Black, 7 December 2017

The merger would create a level of vertical integration unprecedented in US health care, while netting Aetna’s outgoing CEO half a billion dollars.

A health statistics system in shambles

The real maternal mortality rate in the United States

By Benjamin Mateus, 24 November 2017

The true scope of maternal mortality rate in the US remains uncertain due to inconsistent and under-reporting on death certificates.

The legacy of Obamacare: A five percent increase in heart patient deaths

By Kate Randall, 15 November 2017

Research published in JAMA Cardiology shows that an initiative introduced five years ago under Obamacare to reduce Medicare readmissions for heart patients has resulted in a significant increase in mortality rates.

Trump nominates former pharmaceuticals executive to head Health and Human Services

By Kate Randall, 14 November 2017

Alex Azar has a long history of traversing the revolving door between government and big business.

Trump administration encourages states to gut Medicaid, impose work requirements

By Zaida Green, 10 November 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will actively “partner” with states to impose premiums, punitive work requirements and other restrictions on Medicaid.

In part due to Trump sabotage

Obamacare premiums to soar in 2018

By Kate Randall, 4 November 2017

The most vulnerable population group will be households—as many as 2 million people—that are ineligible for subsidies.

Toddler hospitalised after Atlanta hospital denies father’s kidney transplant for son

By Zaida Green, 1 November 2017

Emory University Hospital is demanding that the father of the two-year-old document three months of parole compliance before he is allowed to donate his kidney.

Severe US nursing shortage accelerates rural hospital closures

By Gary Joad, 1 November 2017

Changing healthcare needs, demographic shifts and the choking down of funding for nurse training will leave the US short of 1.2 million nurses in two years time.

America’s oligarchy: No money for opioid crisis, endless funds for corporate tax cuts

By Andre Damon, 28 October 2017

On the same day that Congress moved forward on nearly $6 trillion in tax cuts to the super-rich, the Trump administration declined to allocate any funds to address the opioid crisis.

Trump administration’s CMS head leads assault on Medicaid

By Kate Randall, 28 October 2017

Seema Verma sees the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare as having extended coverage to millions of low-income Americans who should not be getting government-sponsored health insurance.

Trump declares opioid epidemic “will get worse before it gets better”

By Patrick Martin, 27 October 2017

The official declaration of a “public health emergency” is a political stunt that adds not one dollar to efforts to save the lives and health of millions suffering from opioid addiction.

New reports document declining life expectancy and worsening health of US workers

By Jerry White, 24 October 2017

Middle-age workers are being forced to retire later, even as they confront poorer health and a lower life expectancy than their older peers.

“I think the government is trying to kill us off”

Hundreds line up for free medical care in West Virginia

By Jerry White and Zac Corrigan, 23 October 2017

The free clinic event in Charleston revealed the deep social crisis in the United States, which is largely ignored by the corporate controlled media.

Trump’s Department of Justice attempts to block 17-year-old immigrant from getting abortion

By Josh Varlin, 23 October 2017

The government’s arguments against allowing the unaccompanied minor to receive an abortion mirror the notorious Dred Scott decision and presage a further attack on democratic rights.

Trump rejects bipartisan health care plan a day after endorsing it

By Kate Randall, 19 October 2017

The bulk of the Alexander-Murray bill is aimed at lowering requirements for private insurers and reducing the quality of health care coverage offered.

Behind the opioid crisis: Republicans and Obama cleared the way for corporate murder

By Patrick Martin, 16 October 2017

A joint investigation by “60 Minutes” and the Washington Post found that Republicans and Democrats in Washington did the bidding of giant drug distribution companies responsible for fueling the opioid crisis.

White House prepares executive order undercutting Obamacare

By Kate Randall, 11 October 2017

Small businesses would be able to establish association health plans free from Obamacare requirements to cover essential medical services.

Trump administration limits access to birth control under ACA

By Trévon Austin, 7 October 2017

A new mandate revokes the requirement for companies and organizations that claim religious or moral objections to provide birth control.

For one in four US women: Nearest abortion facility over 30 miles away

By Zaida Green, 6 October 2017

In many counties, women must travel dozens or hundreds of miles to reach an abortion facility and are often forced to travel to another state.

US Congress fails to reauthorize insurance program covering 9 million children

By Kate Randall, 3 October 2017

The failure to reauthorize CHIP threatens health insurance coverage for about 9 million lower-income children across the US.

Access to obstetric services in rural US communities continues to decline

By Benjamin Mateus, 3 October 2017

Nine percent of rural counties lost hospital-based obstetric services over the last decade meaning that more than half now have no such services at all.

CDC report finds large increase in sexually transmitted disease across the US

By Matthew Taylor, 2 October 2017

The rise in easily preventable and treatable diseases, including syphilis, has coincided with the slashing of funding for public health programs and clinics, which provide accessible testing and treatments.

“Health care is a human right”

IYSSE speaks at health care rally at University of Illinois Chicago

By our reporters, 28 September 2017

While organizers of a rally at UIC promoted Sanders’ single-payer “Medicare for All” bill, the IYSSE outlined the socialist response to health care crisis.

As Republican Obamacare repeal collapses, Democrats push pro-corporate “compromise”

By Josh Varlin, 27 September 2017

The Democrats are seeking a bipartisan deal with the Republicans that would retain the basic framework of Obamacare while introducing regressive changes being demanded by the insurance monopolies.

San Diego death toll from hepatitis A outbreak rises to 16

By Kevin Martinez, 25 September 2017

City officials knew that a public health crisis was brewing years before the current outbreak but rejected preventive measures as too costly.

Senate Republicans push for another Obamacare “repair and repeal” bill

By Kate Randall, 20 September 2017

In addition to phasing out Medicaid expansion, the Cassidy-Graham legislation, beginning in 2027, would slash billions more from Medicaid and end it as a guaranteed program.

Sanders health care bill: A cover for Democratic Party deals with Trump

By Patrick Martin, 14 September 2017

The legislation offers a single-payer health care system that most Democratic senators and all Republicans oppose.

Trump administration halts study on health impact of surface mining

By Keisha Gibbs, 6 September 2017

The Trump administration has ordered an abrupt halt to a study into potential public health hazards in areas near surface coal mining operations in Central Appalachia.

Serious outbreaks of syphilis and hepatitis underscore social crisis in America

By Genevieve Leigh, 30 August 2017

Among drug users and the homeless in the US, diseases such as syphilis and hepatitis are making a dangerous comeback.

Medicaid sees big price hikes for decades-old drugs

By Brad Dixon, 28 August 2017

Medicaid spending on old and commonly used drugs increased by billions of dollars in 2016 compared to the previous year.

“Health care should be a right, not a privilege”

Thousands flock to free medical care event in Detroit

By WSWS reporting team, 12 August 2017

Like other free clinics throughout the US, the Motor City Medical Mission revealed the deep health care crisis in America.

Thousands attend free health care event in Detroit

By a WSWS reporting team, 10 August 2017

Like other free clinics throughout the US, the Motor City Medical Mission revealed the deep health care crisis in America.

Indiana Medicaid plan under Pence seen as model for attack on health care

By Matthew Taylor, 5 August 2017

In 2015 the state of Indiana introduced a Medicaid expansion plan which converts the entitlement program into a fee-based insurance program.

Democrats offer pro-corporate health care “compromise”

By Kate Randall, 5 August 2017

The Democratic Party’s response to the debacle for Trump was to offer its services in implementing the demands of the insurance giants for “repairing” Obamacare so as to better ensure reduced costs and fatter profits.

Native American health care to be gutted as tribal elites support private markets

By Kayla Costa, 4 August 2017

Tribal leaders are encouraging Native Americans to enter the private health insurance market, placing the medical coverage of over 300,000 people at risk.

US study shows uninsured twice as likely to suffer from opioid abuse

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 August 2017

Despite the immense scale of the national health crisis, the debate in Washington is focused on slashing Medicaid, which provides addiction treatment to low-income people.

In wake of Republican failure on ACA repeal

Trump administration moves to undercut Medicaid and Obamacare exchanges

By Kate Randall, 1 August 2017

A number of states are seeking federal permission to require Medicaid enrollees to work, submit to drug testing or pay monthly premiums.

Way cleared for bipartisan attack on Medicaid

US Senate votes to open debate on Republican health care legislation

By Kate Randall, 26 July 2017

Despite certain tactical differences, both big business parties are in agreement on unprecedented cuts in health care and the dismantling of the core social programs dating from the 1930s and 1960s.

As Trump seeks to revive bill to “repeal and replace” Obamacare

Democrats push for bipartisan plan to slash health care

By Barry Grey, 20 July 2017

The Democratic Party response to Republican disarray over health care is to push for a bipartisan bill that would “fix” Obamacare to make it even more punitive for working people and more profitable for the giant insurance companies.

New study shows half of all opiate prescriptions given to patients suffering from depression or anxiety

By Matthew Taylor, 20 July 2017

The study’s conclusions point to the widespread overprescribing of opiates to those diagnosed with mental illness.

White House and Republicans fail on “repeal and replace” of Obamacare

By Kate Randall, 19 July 2017

This turn of events marks a stunning defeat for President Trump, who has made a “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) one of his central policy goals.

The opioid epidemic in the US: A national health emergency

By Genevieve Leigh, 18 July 2017

The drug epidemic is a symptom of a diseased social system, the product of nearly four decades of social counterrevolution overseen by the ruling class and its political representatives, Democratic and Republican.

Michigan researchers investigate connection between Flint water crisis and high infant mortality rate

By Carlos Delgado, 18 July 2017

The city of Flint saw a significant increase in rate of infants who died before their first birthday in 2015, when the lead-in-water crisis was at its height.

Tufts Medical Center lockout to end with no gains for nurses

By John Marion, 17 July 2017

The Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA) and Democratic Party politicians are using stunts to pressure management into negotiations while nurses go without pay.

As Senate health plan calls for gutting Medicaid

Study shows US has poorest health, widest health care gap between rich and poor

By Kate Randall, 15 July 2017

In the United States, your level of income defines your access to health care, the quality of care you receive, and whether you will meet with an early death because of it.

US Senate Republicans’ revised health bill maintains draconian Medicaid cuts

By Kate Randall, 14 July 2017

The Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act would mark the effective end of Medicaid as a guaranteed government insurance program based on need.

Trump administration signs law stripping job protections from Department of Veterans Affairs employees

By Nick Barrickman, 14 July 2017

The Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act marks a deepening of the attack on federal workers.

Tufts Medical Center in Boston locks out 1,200 nurses after one-day strike

By John Marion, 14 July 2017

Nurses fighting understaffing and pension attacks face a battle against both big business parties, which defend for-profit medicine.

Nurses strike Tufts Medical Center in Boston

Hospital plans punitive five-day lockout

By Kate Randall, 13 July 2017

Nurses are demanding the hospital increase staffing and resources, make salaries more competitive and keep a decent pension plan intact.

A generation of orphans

The impact of US opioid epidemic on foster care and social services

By Genevieve Leigh, 12 July 2017

Social service workers, health care workers, and nonprofit organizers spoke to the WSWS about the devastating consequences of the opioid epidemic on children.

Eighty arrested on Capitol Hill protesting legislation

Senate Republicans maneuver in effort to pass draconian health care bill

By Kate Randall, 11 July 2017

A new poll shows that only 17 percent of US adults approve of the Better Care Reconciliation Act, the Senate Republicans’ heath care bill, while 55 percent disapprove.

The police murder of Iraq War veteran Brian Easley

By Eric London, 10 July 2017

The murder of Easley exposes the establishment’s ritual worship of veterans as nothing more than propaganda, aimed at building support for wars fought by the poor to enrich the wealthy.

Nine rural hospitals in the state have shut down since 2010

More rural Tennessee hospitals face closure under Republican health care plans

By Warren Duzak, 10 July 2017

Tennessee is the “canary in the coal mine” for rural hospitals across the country.

Illinois Democrat’s health care roundtable event marked by frustration, anger

By a WSWS reporting team, 10 July 2017

Two teachers spoke up to counter Schneider’s complacency about the ACA, explaining that it was difficult to afford and few doctors accepted the ACA plans.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey defends health care cuts in phony Town Hall event

By Samuel Davidson, 7 July 2017

Hundreds of Pennsylvania residents, opponents of the health care bill Toomey co-authored, were blocked from entering the television studio where the event was being staged.

Ohio politician proposes letting overdose victims die

The policy of “social murder” behind the US health care debate

By Barry Grey, 5 July 2017

Behind the proposals in the Republicans’ health care bills to gut Medicaid and lift the requirement that insurers cover treatment for substance abuse lies a calculated effort to reduce life expectancy for working people.

“It’s a pretty damning statement when nurses cannot afford health care”

Western Massachusetts nurses still face fight over staffing and health benefits

By Jay James, 3 July 2017

Nurses at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center are the latest to face a battle to defend their health benefits.

With polls showing only 12 percent support for Republican bill

Democrats appeal for bipartisan compromise to slash health care costs

By Barry Grey, 1 July 2017

Far from seeking to mobilize popular anger over the assault on health care, Democrats are appealing to Trump and the Republicans to reach an agreement to impose new cuts.

Anger and frustration over Trumpcare at Louisiana town hall meeting

By Tom Hall, 1 July 2017

Republican Senator Bill Cassidy declined to say explicitly whether he supported the Senate bill, but he made clear his support for a reactionary assault on access to health care.

The emerging class struggle over health care in the US

By Joseph Kishore, 29 June 2017

The Democrats and Republicans are continuing their stage-managed debate over measures that will have devastating consequences for millions of Americans.

US Senate Republicans delay vote on draconian health care bill

By Kate Randall, 28 June 2017

There is bipartisan agreement that the current health care system needs to be “fixed,” meaning deeper cuts in spending, including for Medicaid and other “entitlements.”

Congressional Budget Office report: Senate bill will strip 22 million of health insurance

By Barry Grey, 27 June 2017

The central feature of the Senate Republicans’ “Better Care Reconciliation Act” is a devastating cut in funding for Medicaid, the government health care program for the poor.

Sanders promotes Democratic Party at rallies opposing Republican attack on health care

By Josh Varlin, 26 June 2017

Bernie Sanders is seeking to corral opposition to the Senate Republicans’ health care bill and channel it behind the Democratic Party.

“A lot of people are going to be left behind who can’t afford medical coverage”

Pittsburgh rally attendees discuss impact of health care cuts

By Samuel Davidson, 26 June 2017

Workers, students and health care providers discuss the impact of the destruction of health care on their communities.

Health care and the fight for socialism

By Barry Grey and Kate Randall, 24 June 2017

The most significant feature of both the Senate and House plans is their effective dismantlement of Medicaid as a guaranteed benefit—a milestone in the ruling class drive to destroy what remains of the social reforms of the 20th century.

US hospital visits due to opioid issues top one million a year

By Genevieve Leigh, 21 June 2017

Visits to emergency rooms and inpatient stays for opioid-related issues are skyrocketing, straining treatment facilities in rural areas and urban centers alike.

The Democrats’ fraudulent opposition to Trumpcare

By Kate Randall, 21 June 2017

The Democrats defend Obamacare as though it were a progressive social reform, rather than a major step in the assault on healthcare, now being carried further by Trump and the Republicans.

Senate Republican health plan could make deeper cuts to Medicaid than House version

By Kate Randall, 20 June 2017

The Senate plan to repeal Obamacare could cut an additional $64 billion from Medicaid by changing the way growth in per-patient spending is calculated.

US Senate health bill drafted in secrecy: A conspiracy against the health care of millions

By Kate Randall, 16 June 2017

The Senate plan maintains the AHCA’s per capita cap or block granting of federal Medicaid funds, which would effectively end Medicaid as a guaranteed program based on need.