This is my last look for now on TPP and Obama's State of the Union that has Obama and neo-liberals fighting for the middle-class and poor. WHAT A HOOT!!!!
REMEMBER.....A NATION ONLY HAS RULE OF LAW IF ALL LAWS ARE ENFORCED AND ENFORCEMENT IS EQUAL FOR ALL CITIZENS. BUSH AND OBAMA HAVE SUSPENDED RULE OF LAW IN THE US BECAUSE THEY THINK TPP WILL BE PASSED. THEY ARE RUNNING THE COUNTRY AS IF THE US CONSTITUTION DOES NOT EXIST.
For those living in the Baltimore area we know the consolidation of health care has been happening and public health has not existed for decades as even the University of MD is basically a corporate campus. Just recently, St Joseph's Hospital was bankrupted because MD has no medical malpractice insurance requirements and if a situation arises that gross malpractice happens.....it is the institution that pays and in St Joseph's case it became a statistic and University of Maryland gobbled this hospital up.
Consolidating health institutions into health systems as the Affordable Care Act does is the mirror of Clinton's consolidation of the banking industry and we see how every aspect of finance is now controlled by Wall Street. The ACA intends the same for global health systems and that is what you see happening in Maryland. Johns Hopkins is partnered with the national chain hospital MedStar and University of Maryland Medical System has all hospital care in the state. Despite Maryland releasing stats that we have the best health care.....citizens are actually afraid to enter the hospital in many cases because the quality has been replaced with profit for the years Hopkins has implemented its 'cost-savings' into health care. You see below that a rare shout out of health care workers called UMMS Code Red has happened because the health care situation is becoming dire.
How does all this fit with the Affordable Care Act and the TPP?
TPP is about ending public health around the world so US global health industries can make more profits....US corporations like Johns Hopkins are partnered with foreign health businesses in these trade countries and want all health regulations suspended as Clinton did in deregulating banks. In fact....Hillary's work on health care during Bill's term as President tried to do what Obama did ......privatizing and profiteering all of public health. Below you can see what TPP does to health care around the world as we know the creation of state health systems has as a goal of ending the Federal programs Medicare and Medicaid because.....public subsidy for health is not allowed!
How can corporate subsidy rule if all that money is going to public social programs say neo-liberals!
Researchers find that the salaries of top hospital leaders can be linked to the use of advanced technology and favorable hospital experience survey scores rather than how well that hospital performs on patient safety, readmission, or mortality rates. That's not right, and is why we pushing to enact the Hospital Profit Transparency and Fairness Act, which will force hospitals to report the full extent of their revenues and ensure those revenues are directed to maintaining the care and services Massachusetts communities need.
Go to their website and see the strong advocacy this union is doing for both health care staff and patients in Baltimore. Baltimore has the most repressive labor environment in the country and it is because Johns Hopkins and Baltimore Development are ground zero for TPP.
Campaign Highlighting UMMS Risky Financial Bet Expands Its Reach and Attracts Coverage in The Baltimore Sun
A campaign by the nurses and caregivers of 1199SEIU to highlight risky financial practices at the University of Maryland Medical System has expanded with new billboards in Baltimore and a social media campaign.
The campaign was also highlighted in a recent story in The Baltimore Sun, “UMMS defends use of interest rate swaps: Use of financial tool questioned by labor union,” by Andrea Walker.
Vanessa Johnson, vice president at large for the union, told The Baltimore Sun that UMMS executives “have been crying poverty to the state over the years” while giving themselves huge raises and tying up taxpayer funds with interest rate swaps that could be used instead to provide patient care.
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East launched the information campaign with full-page newspaper ads, billboards and radio spots. So far, the effort has revealed the fact that UMMS, which receives nearly 58 percent of its revenues from public funding, has a more than $180 million debt due to a complex financial scheme that Robert Chrencik executed when he was CFO, and which continued after he became CEO of the statewide system in 2008.
The debt, which has at times ballooned to more than $200 million, is a result of UMMS issuing variable rate debt and interest rate swaps. The value of this debt and swaps is tied to interest rates. This gamble has caused UMMS to pay more in interest than it would have paid absent the swaps. In addition, to cover the bets, UMMS is forced to post millions in collateral. Thus, financial resources that could be used for patient care are instead being used to service this debt.
The fact that the University of Maryland Medical System, with twelve hospitals throughout the State, receives a majority of its funding from the public raises other important issues about whether UMMS should be engaging in risky financial transactions.
In addition to the new billboards, the campaign is expanding to social media, including Facebook. The website for the campaign is: UMMSCodeRed.org.
Below you see that TPP is totalitarian....it takes away all public rights as citizens, allows no control in local, state, and Federal government laws and regulation, and makes all of us subjects to this merchant class/plutocracy. Remember, the people who rise to the top in this environment of lying, cheating, and stealing are the worst of the worst having no talent other than being a team player with connections. This is why everything done by the government fails.....all the outsourcing to connected businesses to move money has nothing to do with doing a good job or of public interest.
The Affordable Care Act deregulates and consolidates US public health making way for no oversight....no public accountability in health access and outcome. Maryland is already mostly there------and that is what Obama and neo-liberals are trying to expand.
HOW THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP
WOULD IMPACT PUBLIC HEALTH
EXPOSE THE TPP
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Public Health
The TPP would provide large pharmaceutical firms with new rights and powers to increase medicine prices and limit consumers' access to cheaper generic drugs. This would include extensions of monopoly drug patents that would allow drug companies to raise prices for more medicines and even allow monopoly rights over surgical procedures. For people in the developing countries involved in TPP, these rules could be deadly - denying consumers access to HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis and cancer drugs.
The TPP would establish new rules that could undermine government programs in developed countries. The TPP would control the cost of medicines by employing drug formularies. These are lists of proven medicines that the government selects for use by government health care systems. Lower prices are negotiated for bulk purchase of such drugs and new medicines that are under monopoly patents are not approved if less expensive generic drugs are equally effective. Drug firms would be empowered to challenge these decisions and pricing standards. In the United States, these rules threaten provisions included in Medicare, Medicaid and veterans' health programs to make medicines more affordable for seniors, military families and the poor.
TPP would empower foreign pharmaceutical corporations to directly attack our domestic patent and drug-pricing laws in foreign tribunals. Already under NAFTA, which does not contain the new rules proposed for TPP, drug firm Eli Lilly has launched such a case against Canada, demanding $100 million for the government's enforcement of its own patent standards.
The TPP would also empower foreign corporations to directly challenge domestic toxics, zoning, cigarette and alcohol and other public health and environmental policies to demand taxpayer compensation for any such policies that undermine their expected future profits. Often initiatives to improve such laws are chilled by the mere filing of such an "investor-state" case. In other instances, countries eliminate the attacked policies. For instance Canada lifted a ban on a gasoline additive already banned in the U.S. as a suspected carcinogen after an investor attack by Ethyl Corporation under NAFTA. It also paid the firm $13 million and published a formal statement that the chemical was not hazardous.
Cases now underway include:
- In 2008, Uruguay began implementing its obligations under the World Health Organization's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, including enhanced tobacco warning labels and requiring plain packaging for cigarettes. In 2010, Australia followed suit. Philip Morris responded by launching "investor-state" challenges against both countries' tobacco control policies, asking extrajudicial tribunals to order the governments to suspend plain packaging and compensate the corporate tobacco giant for "losses." Even though Australia's High Court upheld the country's plain packaging laws in 2012, Philip Morris continues to use a foreign investor-state tribunal to try to roll back this important public health policy.
- For years, Renco Group Inc., a company owned by one of the richest men in America, operated a metal smelter in La Oroya, Peru, which became notorious when the site was designated as one of the top 10 most polluted places in the world. Sulfur dioxide concentrations in La Oroya, which greatly exceed international standards and pose severe respiratory risks, doubled in the years after Renco's acquisition of the complex. Renco's Peruvian subsidiary promised to install sulfur plants by 2007 as part of a government-mandated environmental remediation program, but it sought (and Peru granted) two extraordinary extensions to complete the project. In December 2010, Renco notified Peru that it would use the U.S.-Peru FTA investor-state system to demand $800 million from the Peruvian government for not granting the corporation a third extension on its unfulfilled environmental commitments. Since the launch of the investor-state attack, the Peruvian government has allowed operations to begin again at the La Oroya smelter, resulting in reports of new pollution.
If you listened to this corporate NPR report you will see TPP in action. Remember, Obama is TPP on steroids and this is why all regulation and oversight is being dismantled faster with neo-liberals then it was with neo-cons like Bush.
There are a lot of startling aspects of this WVA disaster but sticking to health care and TPP we see that a chemical with no known research into harmful affects on humans was allowed to be used by a corporation and when catastrophe happened....the CDC cannot tell people what they need to do. In fact....it appears that the Federal government is giving an OK when in fact there is still danger. Remember Obama swimming in the Gulf and the government lifting restrictions on Gulf seafood just months after that devastating oil and dispersant spill? That was TPP. If the US has eliminated all regulatory protections for Americans think what these developing world foods and products will expose the American consumers. If you remember West, Texas fertilizer blast....nothing happened here as all US laws were violated.
'And the problem with this particular substance is that if you read the MSDS for it, where it lists toxicological effects: Is it a carcinogen? No data. Does it cause developmental problems? No data. Most of the basic health effects that you'd want to know about, there's no data available listed on the MSDS for this material'.
So, the US is the third world country in the world of developed nations vs developing. It is using its remaining global power to bring other developed nations down to US level. That is what all the protests and riots are around the world.....the US using TPP to colonize the world's nations!
DON'T YOU JUST LOVE NEO-LIBERAL CLINTON AND OBAMA AND ALL OF MARYLAND'S POLS!
How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia
January 29, 2014 1:36 PM 36 min 3 sec
Jonathan Steele, owner of Bluegrass Kitchen, fills a jug with bottled water from a tank he installed in the back of his Charleston restaurant.
Steve Helber/AP On Jan. 9, people in and around Charleston, W.Va., began showing up at hospitals: They had nausea, eye infections and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of toxic chemicals had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. Citizens were told not to drink or bathe in the water, and while some people are now using water from their taps, many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials.
Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the spill included "a chemical called crude , which was sold by a company called Freedom Industries — sold to coal companies for use in the process of cleaning and washing the impurities out of coal before they ship that coal to market."
For Ward, the episode is far more than the story of an accident and a cleanup: Ward says the spill and the sometimes confusing information authorities have provided about the risks to citizens reflect long-standing regulatory failures in West Virginia and across the nation.
Ward is an award-winning investigative reporter who has been covering West Virginia energy and environmental issues for The Charleston Gazette for years.
Interview Highlights On how the chemical leak was discovered
Some people who live in that part of town called in both to the metro 911 — the county emergency operation center — and to the state Department of Environmental Protection complaints of an odor. [They said] they smelled some sort of a strong licorice odor in the air.
The Department of Environmental Protection sent a couple of air quality inspectors out and ... when they first went there they were told by company officials, "No, we're not having any problems. What are you talking about?" [The inspectors] asked to tour the site. [They] went out and they noticed there was a problem at one of the tanks. They described to me a 400-square-foot, 3- to 4-inch-deep pool of this chemical that had leaked out of a hole in the tank, and a 4-foot-wide stream of this stuff that was pouring across the containment area ... and it was kind of disappearing ... into the river. ... Much of the Elk River was frozen over so you couldn't immediately see that it was in the river.
The problem that arises from that is that Freedom Industries [the company that owns the chemical storage tanks] had a permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection — a storm water permit, a permit to govern runoff from its facility. One of the requirements of that permit is that they immediately report any spills. The Department of Environmental Protection says they didn't report this spill to the state. And the fact that they didn't report it immediately delayed some efforts at containing the spill and certainly affected the size of it and made the situation worse than it necessarily had to be.
Related NPR Stories Jan. 13, 2014 On the ambiguity around the health risks of the chemical spill
Eastman Chemical, which makes it, puts out what's called a Material Safety Data Sheet. An MSDS is something that's required under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. It's supposed to be kept on site for workers to look at and it's supposed to be filed with emergency responders and local environmental authorities. It's supposed to list the properties of the chemical, its flashpoint and what's the toxicity of it.
And the problem with this particular substance is that if you read the MSDS for it, where it lists toxicological effects: Is it a carcinogen? No data. Does it cause developmental problems? No data. Most of the basic health effects that you'd want to know about, there's no data available listed on the MSDS for this material.
On what citizens are doing in response
My family and I, we're not drinking this water. I know a lot of people that aren't. When you go to the grocery stores here you still see people buying pretty significant quantities of bottled water, filling up their carts. When you go to restaurants you hear people asking, "Are you using bottled water? Are you using tap water?" And restaurants are putting out press releases and they have signs that say, "We're using only bottled water."
On the U.S. Chemical Safety Board's recommendations for stricter oversight of industrial chemicals in West Virginia
The Chemical Safety Board has been to West Virginia quite a few times and they came here in 2008 after an explosion at a Bayer CropScience chemical plant. ... The Chemical Safety Board came in and investigated that and found a lot of problems at the plant and found a dearth of regulation of that sort of a plant. And one of the things the Chemical Safety Board said was that our state ... should work with the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department to create a new chemical accident prevention program through which government inspectors would more frequently go into these plants, would ensure they're being operated safely.
The Chemical Safety Board came back again after a series of accidents at a DuPont chemical plant ... in West Virginia — [a series of] accidents there in January of 2010 ended up with one worker being killed. And the Chemical Safety Board repeated its recommendation after that incident. ...
The state has really done absolutely nothing to implement that recommendation. The Kanawha County officials have encouraged the state to work with them ... and the state has just basically ignored the recommendation.
“ ... A lot of these facilities will go for years and years without ever seeing an OSHA inspector ... without ever seeing an EPA inspector. ... The notion that these places are just terribly overregulated is wildly exaggerated.
On misconceptions about federal regulation of dangerous industrial chemicals
The industry officials didn't like the Chemical Safety Board recommendations. They insisted there's enough regulation already and that agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration do enough already.
And I think there seems to be this idea that ... agencies like EPA and OSHA are these jackbooted thugs that are kicking down the gates of manufacturing facilities and stomping out jobs. When in fact, a lot of these facilities will go for years and years without ever seeing an OSHA inspector coming in and checking on the workplace conditions; without ever seeing an EPA inspector who is looking at their environmental conditions. The notion that these places are just terribly overregulated is wildly exaggerated.
On what authority the Obama administration has to regulate industrial chemicals
[The Obama administration certainly has] broad rule-making authority at EPA, and the Environmental Protection Agency can make rules about all sorts of things about this; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration can make rules about these things.
One example is [that] the coal industry here likes to complain about how tough the Obama administration is on them, but a few years ago we had a major spill of toxic coal ash from an impoundment in east Tennessee, and the Obama administration promised after that, "We're going to write new rules to govern toxic coal ash and ensure that it's handled and disposed of safely."
Well, they still haven't done that. OSHA knows that combustible dust is a big problem. They haven't written rules about that.
This environmental slap in the face actually has ties to the health care TPP laws....you will not find a doctor that will say your symptoms are tied to a specific product or corporation. TPP will allow tobacco companies to sue a government that challenges its product in a way that causes lost profits for example. You saw how Johns Hopkins gave false testimony in a Black Lung case trying to help coal mine owners get off the class action hook. This is why the Maryland Environmental Board headed by O'Malley leaves out the two most important elements of environmental and health law.....THERE WILL BE NO PUBLIC SUING OF CORPORATIONS BECAUSE TPP DOES NOT ALLOW FOR LOST CORPORATE REVENUE! So, forget clinical trials and malpractice compensation for corporate malfeasance.......
See why Obama and US AG Holder and O'Malley and Maryland Attorney Gansler have ignored trillions of dollars in health and entitlement fraud? The public has no protections under TPP and global corporate tribunals-----
BILL AND HILLARY ARE THE FOUNDERS OF NEO-LIBERALISM IN THE US AND THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS NOW CONTROLLED BY NEO-LIBERALS.....WE SIMPLY NEED TO SHAKE THE BUGS FROM THE RUG BY RUNNING AND VOTING FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE..
The TPP would also empower foreign corporations to directly challenge domestic toxics
Environmentalists slam new bay pact CBF "shocked" draft agreement ignores toxic pollution, climate change
Tim Wheeler 11:21 a.m. EST, January 30, 2014
Environmentalists are slamming a new draft Chesapeake Bay restoration agreement for failing to address toxic pollution or even mention climate change as a complicating factor in the three-decade effort to revive the ailing estuary.
The Chesapeake Bay Program, a "partnership" of the Environmental Protection Agency and the six states that drain into the bay - including Maryland - released Wednesday a draft agreement "to guide the next chapter of restoration across the watershed." Officials said it "clarifies" the "visions and values" of the multistate effort.
The 12-page document contains seven broad "goals and outcomes" the states and federal government pledge to work toward. They include: protecting and restoring the bay's fish, shellfish and other living resources, restoring lost wetlands, underwater grasses and forests, expanding public access to the bay and instilling "environmental literacy" among the region's students.
"By signing this agreement, bay program partners will acknowledge that our environment is a system and that these goals will support public health and the health of the watershed as a whole,” Nick DiPasquale, director of EPA's bay program office said in a statement accompanying the pact's release.
The draft comes after more than a year of seeking input, and release of an abridged version last summer. It replaces and updates an agreement signed in 2000.
That 13-page document listed 102 specific goals, including a pledge to work toward eliminating toxic pollution's impacts and a commitment to evaulate the potential impact of climate change on the watershed. It also specifically acknowledged that population growth and development are threats to the bay - something unmentioned in the new pact, though it does pledge to work toward conserving farmland and forests.
Kim Coble, vice president of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said she was "shocked" that the new pact has no specific goals to reduce toxic contamination.
"This draft agreement moves us backward not forward with regard to stopping toxic pollution," she said in a statement released by the Annapolis-based group.
"We are also shocked," she added, " that this draft agreement fails to address one of the most critical environmental challenges to our planet - global climate change. How could this be possible in 2014?"
Gov. Martin O'Malley, who took over in December as chairman of the bay program's executive council, had said then that he believed the agreement still being drafted at that time ought to address toxic pollution and climate change.
The bay program plans to hold a signing ceremony in the spring. Meanwhile, officials said they are seeking public input on the draft agreement. The deadline for submitting comments is March 17.
To read the agreement, go here.
For those interested in scholarly writing on TPP and health care in the US this paper is excellent. It is too long for me to print and protected by request, but please take time to Google this paper.
The World Trade Organization and Health Care
THE POTENTIAL IMPACT OF THE WORLD TRADE
ORGANIZATION’S GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TRADE IN
SERVICES ON HEALTH SYSTEM REFORM AND
REGULATION IN THE UNITED STATES
Direct reprint request to:
Northwestern University School of Law
375 E. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
The collapse of the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Doha Round of talks without achieving new health services liberalization presents an important opportunity to evaluate the wisdom of granting further concessions to international
investors in the health sector. The continuing deterioration of the U.S. health system and the primacy of reform as an issue in the 2008 presidential campaign make clear the need for a full range of policy options for addressing the national health crisis. Yet few commentators or policymakers realize that existing WTO health care commitments may already
significantly constrain domestic policy options. This article illustrates these constraints through an evaluation of the potential effects of current WTO law and jurisprudence on the implementation of a single-payer national health insurance system in the United States, proposed incremental national
and state health system reforms, the privatization of Medicare, and other prominent health system issues.