When public policy undermines the public’s health, patient empowerment is not really on the table. Patients may be well informed, doctors may share unbiased, good information, but if public policy does not support public health, patient empowerment is just not there. Today, I take up Labor Day and six threats to labor and the public’s health:
- Governor Scott Walker’s attacks on collective bargaining.
- Privatizing of public programs, for example, Paul Ryan’s push to privatize public services, including Social Security and Medicare, privatizing hospitals, healthcare services, and prisons.
- Employers have unfair advantages in union organizing campaigns, including delaying union representation elections, terminating union organizers with impunity, and more.
- There is a perceptual problem that people feel that unions are irrelevant. This is a huge problem. Nonunion workers have significantly lower wages, fewer benefits, and no job security, compared to union members.
- The rise of unpaid internships with no benefits.
- Attempts to rollback of child labor protections – which fortunately, have been rebuffed.
Voting this November can shut some of this down.