SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

California | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Labor & Workers

Kaiser Workers: Strike Now
by Kaiser member
Saturday Jun 15th, 2013 9:58 AM
This many decades Kaiser member is so horrified about the last routine checkup trip to Kaiser that it is time for all Kaiser members to demand that Kaiser workers STRIKE NOW and not wait until 2014.
This many decades Kaiser member is so horrified about the last routine checkup trip to Kaiser that it is time for all Kaiser members to demand that Kaiser workers STRIKE NOW and not wait until 2014.

Your demands must include elimination of all patient questionnaires, harassment of patients with constant phone calls and multi-color expensive mailers, including asking for fecal matter to be sent in the mail, surveys on the phone and in the mail asking how the staff and doctors performed, and harassment by the doctors with constant questions that have nothing to do with the reason for the visit.

Being very healthy, my visits to Kaiser are rare, at the most once a year, if that. I had a minor problem last year and while waiting for the doctor, first the nurse asked if I had had a routine Xray; I told her I was not there for that. Then the nurse chose to ask me all kinds of exercise questions. I figured I would answer and it would go on the record. That did not seem to make Kaiser happy. When I went this year for a routine exam, I was given a questionnaire to fill out that had all kinds of questions the answers to which are available on Kaiser's computerized record and thus THERE WAS NO REASON FOR THE QUESTIONNAIRE EXCEPT TO INTIMIDATE THE PATIENT. THIS IS CALLED TERRORISM. They asked not only the exercise questions, but also if the patient is depressed, is the patient incontinent, how many operations the patient has had, how often the patient has sex, what drugs the patient uses, the diseases of ancestors, and all kinds of other garbage that had nothing to do with the appointment.

When I finally was called to see the doctor, I had to wait a half hour after my scheduled appointment time to see him, and this appointment was made more than 3 weeks prior. The doctor had more than enough time to view the record yet by the questions and suggestions he made, all of which had nothing to do with the reason for the visit, he clearly had not read the record. The doctor, who had to perform a very intrusive exam, proceeded to ask questions while performing this uncomfortable exam such as how long I was employed at my current job, what kind of work I did, and much more irrelevant garbage. By the end of the exam, I was outraged at the utter contempt that Kaiser has for its members. It is clearly not the Kaiser I knew from the 1950s through the 1990s; it has become a nightmare.

Instead of receiving the results of the exam in 2 weeks, I received a survey with a color photo of the doctor, asking not only how the doctor did his work, but all kinds of questions about me, such as the exercise questions, the diet questions, and much more. They also asked questions about the staff, which tells me that the union at Kaiser is very weak since this garbage should never be on any survey. The survey was clearly designed to make the patient look guilty of negligent healthcare when the problem is Kaiser management, not its members. All of this was just because I had a routine exam which I thought I should have since I pay $784 PER MONTH to Kaiser plus $25 to see the doctor and $10 for each lab test, as well as $200 a day hospitalization.

All Kaiser members are now faced with Obama's insurance profiteering scheme that starts in 2014, so our plans will change. This writer is going to change to the cheapest plan possible, without compromising my ability to obtain hospitalization and surgery, the only reason anyone needs medical coverage. Blue Cross and all other insurance is worse. If Obama cuts Medicare, as he has promised to do, we can be sure all plans will be worse.

Meanwhile, these questionnaires, phone calls, slick mailers and surveys must end. If I am ever confronted with these surveys at Kaiser, they will not be answered at all; Kaiser will be told to read the record and the doctor will be told to shut up and do the work that is the reason for the appointment only. Of course, any of this garbage that comes in the mail is always put immediately in the recycle bin. The phone calls and lab mail requests can be stopped by calling Kaiser member services; I had them stop the requests for fecal matter be sent to them in the mail!

All of this begs the question: WHAT DOES THE KAISER WORKERS' UNION DO? Why are Kaiser members experiencing this vicious hatred of the members? This is not medical care; this is harassment. GO ON STRIKE NOW; DO NOT WAIT UNTIL 2014. And include in your new contract the demand for socialized medicine in this backward country paid for 100% with our tax dollars as exists in the rest of the industrialized world, including all of Europe, Israel, Cuba, Canada, China, Japan, Australia, New Zealand.
by Charles Minster
Saturday Jun 15th, 2013 10:42 AM
The author is correct in the need for free medical care for all provided by our tax dollars. To secure this will require a social revolution that will be lead by a revolutionary political party and the working class. It is the duty of the hospital industry trade unions to defend and advance their members needs and lead in the struggle to secure free medical care for all. That is going to require to dumping of the present pack of pro-Democratic Party bureaucrats and the placing of revolutionary leadership at the helm. A tough battle but it is the only way forward.

Dump the labor fakers. Break from the Democrats and all capitalist parties, build a revolutionary workers party, free medical care for all!
by Kaiser member
Sunday Jun 16th, 2013 5:38 AM
From: http://www.aft2121.org/html/political-action.html#Kaiser
Say NO to Kaiser's price gouging!

While City Employees are using fewer medical services, Kaiser is demanding more money to protect profits!

While union members have made sacrifices to get through the Great Recession, Kaiser banked over $2 billion in profits every year from 2009 through 2012. That’s $8 billion in profits while union members, taxpayers, and residents suffer cuts in wages, benefits, and city services. The City, its employees, and taxpayers paid $87 million more than it cost Kaiser to deliver health care to members from 2010 through 2012. Now, Kaiser wants more from City of San Francisco Employees and Taxpayers!

City employee unions and the Public Employees Committee are united in opposition to Kaiser’s proposed rate hike, as well as the Mayor’s office and members of the Board of Supervisors. The City’s healthcare bill is nearly half a billion dollars annually. We can’t afford their price gouging anymore. Sign the petition and let Kaiser CEO, Bernard Tyson know that we will not let their out of control profiteering and greed continue at the expense of our health and livelihoods!

Last month, our Health Service System issued a scathing analysis that asked Kaiser to justify the proposed increase. Kaiser executives didn’t provide a single concrete answer, but are coming back to us on June 13 for more money for the 2014 plan year.
*******************
From: http://kaiserunited.org/adopt-an-executive/
George Halvorson is the CEO of Kaiser Permanente. [recently replaced, but salary is equally outrageous]

George Halvorson received $7,905,171 in total compensation in 2009. He’s been paid nearly $50 million since he was hired in 2002.

Ben Chu is the Regional President for Kaiser Permanente in Southern California.

In 2009, Ben Chu’s compensation was $1,629,846. That’s a 31.3% bump from the year before, and a 77.8% increase from 2007.

Bernard Tyson is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Kaiser Permanente.

Bernard Tyson received $2,329,464 in total compensation in 2009.
***************
The above outrageous salaries are called skimming the cream off the top. Their top salary should be no more than $200,000 annually. After all, Kaiser claims to be a non-profit! When, not if, Kaiser workers go on strike, they had better stay out to get everything they want, as well as elimination of all surveys by mail and on the phone, questionnaires, harassing phone calls, mailers and lab tests by mail, and irrelevant questions asked by anyone at Kaiser that have nothing to do with the reason for the patient's visit. PLEASE FIGHT FOR A NO CONCESSIONS CONTRACT, AND IF MANAGEMENT DOES NOT COOPERATE QUICKLY, EXPAND THE STRIKE TO ALL OTHER UNIONS IN THE AREA WHERE KAISER OPERATES.