A CONCRETE PROPOSAL
Costly Freedom in Afghanistan
Opposition to Charter Schools
Fight for Water
Ronald j. Morgan
Health Care Crisis Will Continue
Occupying a House Auction
Race, Gender, & Occupy
Occupied Higher Ed
Unpredicatable Life of the Occupy Movement
Zuccotti Park Press
STATE OF THE U.S.
Investing in Obama
Nicolas J.S. Davies
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Health Care Crisis Will Continue Now Matter How the Court Rules
As the Supreme Court met to pass judgment on the 2010 health care law, the nation’s largest union and professional association of registered nurses warned that health care will remain beyond the reach of millions of Americans. “Whether the Court overturns part or all of the law or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains fully intact, we will not have universal coverage, medical bills will still push too many Americans into bankruptcy or prompt them to self-ration care, and insurance companies will continue to have a choke hold on our health,” said Deborah Burger, RN, co-president of 170,000-member National Nurses United (NNU).
Citing recent data about the ongoing health-care emergency, NNU Co-president Jean Ross noted that, “The consequences of the denial of care en masse—now and in the future, with or without the ACA—could not be more ominous. Only more comprehensive reform, Medicare for Life, for all Americans, will produce real health- care security for our country.” Even with some positive elements, such as permitting young adults up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ health plan, and some limits on insurance industry abuses, the health-care crisis will continue to worsen.
Despite its name, the Affordable Care Act has done little to actually make health care affordable. Out of pocket health costs for families continue to soar. Nurses now routinely see patients who have postponed needed care, even when it might be lifesaving, because of the high co-pays and deductibles. Delayed dental care illustrates the problem. A February Pew Center report noted a 16 percent jump in the number of Americans heading to emergency rooms for routine dental problems, at a cost of 10 times more than preventive care with fewer treatment options.
Premiums have jumped 50 percent on average the past 7 years, according to a Commonwealth Fund report last November, with more than 6 in 10 Americans now living in states where their premiums consume one-fifth or more of median earnings. Medical bills have been the leading cause of personal bankruptcy for years. Increasingly, they are ruining people’s credit as well. Another Commonwealth Fund report found that 30 million Americans were contacted by collection agencies in 2010 because of medical bills.
Fifty million still have no health coverage. Another 29 million are underinsured with massive holes in their health plans—up 80 percent since 2003—according to the journal Health Affairs. Gallup reported that the percentage of adults with no health insurance—17.3 percent in the third quarter of 2011—was the highest on record, up from 14.4 percent 3 years earlier.
Health-care quality in the U.S. continues to lag far behind other nations. Two examples: more than 80 percent of U.S. counties trail life expectancy rates of nations with the best life expectancies, the University of Washington found last June. Some U.S. counties are more than 50 years behind their international counterparts. The U.S. ranks just 41st in the world in death rates for child-bearing women and it has been getting worse, according to the World Health Organization.
The average mortality rate within 42 days of childbirth has doubled in two decades, partly due to cuts in federal spending for maternal and child health programs over the past 7 years. Our economic meltdown has exacerbated the crisis. For the past year, nurses have seen a spike in health problems associated with job loss, high medical bills, poor nutrition, and other economic factors. These include stress-induced heart ailments in younger patients, hypertension, anxiety, and “gut” disorders.
“More handouts to the private insurers and other health-care corporations will not improve these dreadful statistics,” said Burger. “The chokehold on our health by the same Wall Street types who tanked our economy is what has caused the falling health barometers on access, quality, and cost.”
“This country needs to take care of our people—not pretend to do so,” said Ross. “For two generations, Medicare has provided quality care to seniors at costs that are affordable. It’s time to deal with the reality of a nation in desperate need of quality health care. It’s time to put in motion a plan for Medicare for Life. For all Americans. Once and for all.”
National Nurses United—with more than 150,000 members—is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in America. Founded in December 2009, its purpose is to give registered nurses a national voice and organizing power.
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; firstname.lastname@example.org; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; email@example.com; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.