A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Hospitals Slashing Jobs

Posted by jdtaylor on October 16, 2013


I am part of a union.  I know, but I am there reluctantly.  I realized a long time ago that the only way to change anything for the better is not to just sit by on the sideline and bitch about it.  You have to get involved and actively change it from within.  So now I’m in the Oregon nursing union.  Our union is in the heat of battle with our current negotiations.  It seems that the all time best offer that the hospital can come up with is to decrease our wages by 6% over the next three years.  And that’s what they call a “cost of living” bonus!  So, in scratching my head over just how any business could demand this kind of pay adjustment, I started doing research on just what other hospitals around the country was doing and why.

I just read an article about how “Hospitals Slashing Thousands of Jobs Thanks to Obamacare.”

Our current Government officials (in the Democratic party) have been predicting that jobs in the health care industry would be increasing due to the implementation of Obamacare and the projected 30 million Americans that would be signing up for coverage.  Supposedly, thousands of additional jobs would be created in the healthcare industry… but that does not seem to be the case.

Figures compiled by Challenger , an outplacement firm, there were 8,128 layoffs in the health industry last month.  Since the beginning of the year the health industry has seen 41,085 layoffs.  No other industry has seen cuts this deep.

So far this month, Indiana University Health has laid off 900 people, and Vanderbilt Medical Center eliminated another 1,000 jobs.  Cleveland Clinic, another 3,000 employees as it cuts $330 million from its budget.  John Howser,  Assistant Vice Chancellor at Vanderbilt said: “While the rest of the U.S. economy is stabilizing or improving, health care is entering into a recession.

One of the issues facing many hospitals concerns Medicaid and the multitudes of low-income Americans who frequently use the Emergency Room and never actually pay their bills.  Under Obamacare, Medicaid would be expanded to more low-income families.  According to Vanderbilt officials, this accounted for nearly a third of their pending layoffs.  All of this at the heals of the “baby boomers” in the beginnings of their access to the health care system.  We’re going to give less care, decreased quality of care, decreased number of services, with less health care professionals,  to a exponentially  larger group of people accessing the system… hmmm.

Because of the new “Affordable Care Act” many doctors are bailing out of their medical practices.  Some have found positions with the large healthcare clinics or organizations while others have left the medical field altogether.  As a result, hospitals are laying off thousands of employees.  If the Republican members of Congress are not successful in stopping Obamacare, I would not be surprised to see the entire system implode and collapse and take the rest of the nation with it.  I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t Obama’s plan all along?

And somehow, I still find myself grumbling over a 6% pay cut.


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