Kaiser Permanente Lays Off 530 Employees

Kaiser Permanente laid off more than 500 employees in Southern California this weekend.

One of the nation’s largest HMOs is laying off 530 employees in Southern California this weekend, including some in San Diego County, a company official confirmed Saturday.

Kaiser Permanente said the layoffs—constituting about eight-tenths of one percent of it employees—would be spread across its 65,700 employees and doctors working in offices and hospitals from Kern County to the Mexican border.

Under its union contracts, the laid-off employees who are in unions will get income and benefits for a year. Many may also be rehired next year, when Kaiser Permanente expects “significant membership growth.”

“Health care in America is in the midst of one of the most exciting and challenging times in its history, the firm said in a statement Saturday. “We have undertaken a series of cost-reduction initiatives to ensure we meet these changing dynamics, and they include some position eliminations.

“It is important to note that none of these position eliminations will in any way jeopardize the quality of patient care, which is always our primary focus,” the corporate statement said.

Nationwide, the health care industry is undergoing structural changes to adopt to the new federal Affordable Health Care Act—commonly called Obamacare.

Exact layoff locations were not available, a spokeswoman said, because some of the affected employees may be offered other vacant positions as it makes staffing adjustments next week.

A union official told the Inland Daily Bulletin that the laid-off employees will be able to take advantage of a retraining and education program that will keep them paid and insured for up to one year.

City News Service


  • DOUBLE J 54

    there is no such thing. but the larger question is why are you against it? i had this question posed to me,"lets say that you have health care but those around you and your friends and family do not" how secure would you feel then? how about sending your children to school where the majority of the children there come from homes without it or going to out to dinner and the service worker has been exposed to hep.c, like what has taken place in las vegas. when health care becomes a luxury and not a necessity everyone is at risk even the rich and privileged and fortunate
    References :

  • Nemesis

    Not specifically against UHC as the book covers a lot, but Cassandra Nathan’s Save America, Save the World is excellent and has a huge section on health care and a plan that unlike ALL the politicians’ ones out there would resolve the problems.
    See info at:
    Read the PDF, not the blurb, for the bulk of the plan. Book is searchable on Amazon.com

    Canadian doc now in US wrote a book I’m getting to soon:
    The Cure: How Capitalism Can Save American Health Care
    Previously he wrote
    Code Blue: Reviving Canada’s Health Care System

    Because UHC doesn’t work anywhere and never has, there are other books, unfortunately if you’re looking for a workable plan there are fewer that truly would work.

    Oh some FACTS about UHC from an article Gratzer wrote:
    "…Another sign of transformation: Canadian doctors, long silent on the health-care system’s problems, are starting to speak up. Last August, they voted Brian Day president of their national association. A former socialist who counts Fidel Castro as a personal acquaintance, Day has nevertheless become perhaps the most vocal critic of Canadian public health care, having opened his own private surgery center as a remedy for long waiting lists and then challenged the government to shut him down. “This is a country in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week,” he fumed to the New York Times, “and in which humans can wait two to three years.”

    And now even Canadian governments are looking to the private sector to shrink the waiting lists. Day’s clinic, for instance, handles workers’-compensation cases for employees of both public and private corporations. In British Columbia, private clinics perform roughly 80 percent of government-funded diagnostic testing. In Ontario, where fealty to socialized medicine has always been strong, the government recently hired a private firm to staff a rural hospital’s emergency room.

    This privatizing trend is reaching Europe, too. Britain’s government-run health care dates back to the 1940s. Yet the Labour Party—which originally created the National Health Service and used to bristle at the suggestion of private medicine, dismissing it as “Americanization”—now openly favors privatization. Sir William Wells, a senior British health official, recently said: “The big trouble with a state monopoly is that it builds in massive inefficiencies and inward-looking culture.” Last year, the private sector provided about 5 percent of Britain’s nonemergency procedures; Labour aims to triple that percentage by 2008. The Labour government also works to voucherize certain surgeries, offering patients a choice of four providers, at least one private. And in a recent move, the government will contract out some primary care services, perhaps to American firms such as UnitedHealth Group and Kaiser Permanente.

    Sweden’s government, after the completion of the latest round of privatizations, will be contracting out some 80 percent of Stockholm’s primary care and 40 percent of its total health services, including one of the city’s largest hospitals. Since the fall of Communism, Slovakia has looked to liberalize its state-run system, introducing co-payments and privatizations. And modest market reforms have begun in Germany: increasing co-pays, enhancing insurance competition, and turning state enterprises over to the private sector (within a decade, only a minority of German hospitals will remain under state control). It’s important to note that change in these countries is slow and gradual—market reforms remain controversial. But if the United States was once the exception for viewing a vibrant private sector in health care as essential, it is so no longer."

    The NHS, the oldest system, is in Britain:
    "Staff are being laid off, and deficits are at an all time high (£1.07bn for 2005-2006)” (Hazel Blears, Labour Party Chair and Minister Without Portfolio, labourachievements.blogspot.com/2006/08/23-investment-in-nhs.html).
    In the National Review Online article, Coburn & Herzlinger state “more than 20,000 Brits would not have died from cancer in the U.S.” Just recently Alex Smallwood of the BMA (British Medical Association) was quoted in the Scotsman as saying: “’Rationing is reduction in choice. Rationing has become a necessary evil. We need to formalise rationing to prevent an unregulated, widening, postcode-lottery of care. Government no longer has a choice.’” (Moss, “NHS rationing is ‘necessary evil,’ says doctors,” 26 June 2007).
    The much lauded French system raises some questions as well. From their Embassy site (ambafrance-us.org) they state that 96 percent of the population receives free or 100 percent reimbursed health care. They state the system is part of their Social Security and is funded from worker’s salaries (60 percent), “indirect taxes on alcohol and tobacco and by direct contribution paid by all revenue proportional to income, including retirement pensions and capital revenues.” They state that it appears that health insurance pays less to its doctors in France than in other European countries, but that 80 percent of the public have supplemental health insurance, typically from their employers. If they’re providing so well for the needs of the public, why is there a need for “supplemental” health insurance for the majority of the public and what about the additional cost that imposes? The site states that the poorest have free universal health care, funded by taxes. Long-term illness sufferers are to be reimbursed for their treatments. They do have private clinics, as well as public hospitals, and not-for-profit healthcare. In fact, “private medical care in France is particularly active in treating more than 50% of surgeries and more than 60% of cancer cases.”

    Private insurance, which the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) site said in a 2004 report, was held by 92 percent of the French, helps to cover both vision and dental care which are not well covered under the government system. “The public system is facing chronic deficits and recent cost containment policies have not proved very successful.” The government is interested in having more of the tab picked up by private insurance (Buchmueller & Couffinhall, “Private Health Insurance in France,” 2004, oecd.org).

    References :

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