health

In a split decision the United States Supreme Court largely upheld the health insurance law, the Affordable Health Care Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama. The key provision upheld by the nine robed reactionaries in a five-to-four split decision mandated that all US citizens have to buy health insurance from the private insurance companies beginning in 2014, or pay a penalty. This approach was originally proposed decades ago by right- wing think tanks as an alternative to national health insurance for all.
The Transform Drug Policy Foundation recently informed me of Count the Costs: 50 years of the war on drugs, a new online research tool developed to educate people on the need for drug law reform.
On June 16, 2012, an all-female line-up of artists put on a Sydney gig to raise funds for women prisoners after funding for the charity Sisters Inside was cut by the Liberal state government in Queensland. Green Left TV spoke to event organiser Shannon Hall and Aboriginal rappers Naomi Wenitong, of The Last Kinection, and Sky'high.
About 7000 union and community activists braved heavy rain in Sydney to protest against the NSW government's plans to undermine workers' compensation and entitlements on June 13. They chanted “shame, Barry, shame” and “injured workers in his sights, taking away our compo rights”. In Newcastle, Hunter nurses took strike action to join up to 1500 workers and supporters. Hundreds also rallied in Wollongong.
NSW unions are gearing up for “the biggest battle since Work Choices” to defend the rights of the state's sick and injured workers to receive just compensation. The Barry O'Farrell government has outlined cuts to WorkCover that mean workers would no longer be covered on their way to and from work. Payments to injured workers would fall after 13 weeks (rather than 26 weeks). All medical costs and payments for workers who are still sick or injured after two-and-a-half years would be cut. The government says that cutting benefits would “encourage” injured workers back to work.
The Climate and Health Alliance released the statement below on May 28. * * * In the lead up to Rio+20 and the G20 Summit, Australian health groups are calling on Australian and international governments to abandon subsidies for fossil fuels in the interests of protecting human health and economic security.
A May 3 briefing to South Australia’s parliament by Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) has drawn attention to important research on the alarming health effects of coal burning on the Port Augusta community, reaffirming the case for a speedy transition to solar thermal power for the region.
However the dispute in Britain about tax and charity donations ends up, the one thing we must all agree on is how inspiringly generous these philanthropists are, selflessly donating chunks of money that, by coincidence, are the amount they would have had to pay in tax anyway. Even the Good Samaritan would have said: "That's TOO philanthropic, you're being a fool to yourself."
This article first appeared in Tracker magazine on March 19. * * * Aboriginal leaders in the Northern Territory have issued a strong warning that the Australian government’s new land grab in the form of the proposed 10-year extension of the intervention will send many communities into a dangerous downward spiral with still more death and misery.

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