September 6, 2022

As Workers Unite, Kaiser Looses Them

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"The providers are not able to give adequate care to their patients. Because of this, more healthcare providers are leaving Kaiser than Kaiser is hiring."
Sarah Soroken and Sal Rosselli
Bryan Miller

In this episode of Nation State of Play, Bryan Miller interviews Sarah Soroken and Sal Rosselli of the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW) about the Kaiser Permanente strike.

The National Union of Healthcare Workers represents healthcare professionals including those who work for Kaiser Permanente. Kaiser is the largest healthcare provider in the state, providing insurance to about 10 million people in California. 

In this episode of Nation State of Play, Bryan sits down with two mental health providers who work for Kaiser Permanente. They are part of an effort to secure a wide range of mental health and substance abuse care for the health care giant’s thousands of workers.

NUHW claims Kaiser has been ignoring these laws and creating a stressful work environment for healthcare providers. The providers are not able to give adequate care to their patients. Because of this, more healthcare providers are leaving Kaiser than Kaiser is hiring. 

September 22, 2022 marked the third week of the open ended healthcare strike in California. NUHW acknowledged the work of the Newsom Administration and the work of Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senator Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Senator Scott Weiner; however, NUHW also notes that the work is not enough. The law calls for the Department of Managed Healthcare to enforce the violations, something that the department may not be necessarily equipped or funded to do. NUHW representatives hope that Newsom listens to demands to increase fines for violations that are currently at $2,500 noting that providers like Kaiser Permanente see these fines as nominal and as part of doing business. By increasing the fines to $25,000 per violation, the union workers hope to deter bad behavior by large healthcare providers. They also urge, though painstaking, those who feel they have suffered harm by the lack of attention from their healthcare provider to file a complaint with the Department of Managed Healthcare. 

Learn more about the strike at: https://nuhw.org/.

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