Health care in the US

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.

US Senate Republicans moving forward on Obamacare repeal bill

By Kate Randall, 13 June 2017

The Senate bill will retain the majority of the AHCA’s reactionary features, including the gutting of Medicaid and tax breaks for the wealthy.

Pregnancy-linked death rate in Texas is highest among industrialized nations

By Trévon Austin, 10 June 2017

According to the research directed by the University of Maryland in 2016, pregnancy-related deaths in Texas nearly doubled within two years, rising from 72 in 2010 to 142 in 2012.

Mylan may have overcharged US government by $1.27 billion

By Brad Dixon, 5 June 2017

Between 2006 and 2016, Mylan Pharmaceuticals misclassified its EpiPen Auto-Injector, used to treat anaphylaxis due to allergic reactions, as a generic product instead of a branded product.

Trump rule denies birth control coverage to hundreds of thousands of women

By Kate Randall, 3 June 2017

The new rule greatly expands the number of employers and insurance companies that could qualify for an exemption to the ACA mandate, simply by claiming a moral or religious objection.

Illinois’ largest hospital system plans $200 million in cuts

By Benjamin Mateus and Marcus Day, 2 June 2017

The cuts at Advocate will mean further restriction of patients’ access to health services and an escalation of the attack on the jobs and working conditions of employees.

Prices of US branded prescription drugs rose 13 percent in 2016

By Brad Dixon, 2 June 2017

The rise in drug prices is 318 percent higher than the rise in the costs of goods due to inflation, according to a report by health care technology company Truveris.

Republican health plan would leave 23 million uninsured, budget office says

By Kate Randall, 26 May 2017

The AHCA would leave 23 million fewer insured by 2026, slashing $824 billion from Medicaid and driving up premiums for older Americans and those with preexisting conditions.

Trump administration seizes on Aetna pullout from ACA to push Republicans’ health plan

By Shelley Connor, 16 May 2017

If insurers are unable to make an adequate profit under Obamacare, they either hike their prices or pull out of the insurance market.

Veterans Affairs to close more than 1,110 facilities

By Kevin Martinez, 13 May 2017

VA Secretary David Shulkin told Congress the proposal is aimed at privatizing veterans’ health care.

Berkshire Hathaway billionaire: “The amount of waste from overtreatment of the dying is just disgusting”

By Kate Randall, 12 May 2017

That people who have toiled their entire lives should be treated with dignity at the end of their lives is an alien concept to such reactionary minds.

Life expectancy study shows 20-year gap between richest and poorest US counties

By Naomi Spencer, 10 May 2017

Counties in the eastern Kentucky coalfields registered the sharpest declines in life expectancy between 1980 and 2014.

Hypocrisy and lies: Barack Obama accepts “Profile in Courage” award in Boston

By Kate Randall, 9 May 2017

Although Obama did not mention the ACA or “Trumpcare” in his remarks accepting the award, it is clear that the passage of Obamacare was one of the main reasons he was chosen.

A new stage in the US health care counterrevolution

By Patrick Martin, 8 May 2017

The passage of the American Health Care Act by the House of Representatives sets the pace for devastating cuts in health care for working people, to fund a windfall for the financial oligarchy.

Republican health care bill targets millions with preexisting conditions

By Kate Randall, 6 May 2017

Shameless lies are being used to promote a thoroughly regressive bill that builds on Obama’s pro-corporate Affordable Care Act and expands its assault on health care.

House Republicans pass draconian health care legislation

Bill would end Medicaid as a guaranteed program based on need

By Kate Randall, 5 May 2017

The American Health Care Act is a reactionary bill that builds on the regressive, pro-corporate framework of the legislation popularly known as Obamacare.

House Republicans scramble for votes to pass draconian health care bill

By Barry Grey and Kate Randall, 3 May 2017

The amended version of the Trump administration’s American Health Care Act would impose an even more savage attack on health care for millions of people than the original.

Maine to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients

By John Marion, 24 April 2017

Governor Paul LePage expects to receive federal approval for an attack on Medicaid.

Trump makes pro-insurance company changes to Obamacare

By Kate Randall, 15 April 2017

The giant private insurers claim that Americans are “gaming” the ACA by signing up only when they get sick and dropping out after receiving medical treatment.

Trump’s new federal law blocks state funding for Planned Parenthood

By Kathleen Martin, 15 April 2017

The move is part of a broader attack on healthcare and the right to abortion services.

Super-rich in America live 15 years longer than the poorest 1 percent

By Kate Randall, 11 April 2017

Income-based disparities in US life expectancy are worsened by the for-profit US health care system.

Facing defeat in Republican-controlled House, Trump scuttles Obamacare replacement bill

By Barry Grey, 25 March 2017

Both Trump and the Democrats signaled their readiness to collaborate in devising new means to slash health care benefits.

Trump, Republicans postpone vote on Obamacare replacement bill

By Barry Grey, 24 March 2017

The bill has been made more brutal in an attempt to win over the most diehard opponents of health care for poor and moderate-income people.

Pittsburgh Town Hall: Democrats cover for attack on health care

By Samuel Davidson, 24 March 2017

Over 500 people attended a Town Hall meeting in Pittsburgh to express outrage over cuts to health care.

Key House Republicans and Trump agree to Medicaid block grants, work requirements

By Kate Randall, 20 March 2017

Under a block grant, states would receive a fixed annual amount of federal funding, forcing them to either cut benefits or remove people from the program altogether

Over 3,000 yearly deaths in Pennsylvania expected from repeal of Obamacare

By Douglas Lyons, 17 March 2017

Researchers estimate that more than 1.1 million people in the state would lose health insurance and 3,525 premature deaths would result each year from a total repeal.

US health care debate: A bipartisan drive to lower life expectancy

By Jerry White, 16 March 2017

The current debate obscures the basic motivation guiding both big business parties: to restrict access to affordable health care and sharply reduce the lifespan of American workers.

Nominee for US Food and Drug Administration commissioner has deep ties to drug industry

By Brad Dixon, 15 March 2017

Scott Gottlieb has close ties to the drug industry and, if confirmed, will work to roll back regulations at the FDA.

US government agency projects 24 million to lose health coverage under Republican plan

By Kate Randall, 14 March 2017

This massive surge in the uninsured would come largely on the backs of the poor through draconian cuts to Medicaid, effectively ending it as an entitlement program.

Republicans push plan to gut Medicaid and slash taxes for the wealthy

By Kate Randall, 13 March 2017

The Republican bill to replace Obamacare will slash taxes for the wealthy by $600 billion.

A socialist policy for universal health care

By Niles Niemuth, 11 March 2017

Under the cover of a struggle over Obamacare, the bipartisan attack on health care for working people in America is being intensified.

Obamacare replacement plan targets Medicaid

By Kate Randall, 8 March 2017

Beginning in 2020, the Republican plan would convert federal funding for Medicaid to a per capita allotment, as well as end Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid.