Today’s Supreme Court decision
Healthcare workers understand the importance of today’s Supreme Court decision affirming the 2010 Affordable Care Act and its significance for patients and caregivers.
The law’s provisions protecting healthcare consumers with preexisting conditions, eliminating lifetime caps on benefits and expanding access to affordable healthcare coverage are all important victories on the path to healthcare for all.
However, the Court’s decision to uphold the law falls far short of solving the healthcare crisis in America.
Even with the ACA intact, healthcare workers and patients must continue to fight against shameful corporate healthcare practices such as Kaiser Permanente’s “shadow pricing” system, described in a recent NPR story, which drives up rates for consumers in order to pay for exorbitant executive compensation packages and to underwrite Kaiser’s expansion into new “markets.” And caregivers must continue to safeguard patient protections such as California’s landmark nurse-to-patient ratio law, which has come under attack from the hospital lobby and its ally, SEIU.
The ACA, for all of its merits, does not address these issues and many others like them.
I am proud to report that workers in NUHW remain united in their commitment to build a worker-led movement to hold healthcare corporations accountable to the public interest, improve the lives of caregivers and patients, and win quality, affordable healthcare for all.
On that note, I would like to celebrate NUHW members at Sodexo Keck Medical Center’s recent contract victory. They won 11% raises, economic progress and even won a reduction in their share of healthcare costs of 5%.
While SEIU is busy giving away workers’ hard fought gains to employers, please join me in celebrating workers at Sodexo Keck Medical Center who have shown how much is possible when workers unite in NUHW.
Sal Rosselli, President
National Union of Healthcare Workers