Author: Sabine Frid-Bernards

Complaints Filed: 178 Hospitals Fail to Provide Federally Mandated Price Transperency

Many hospitals are not doing the bare minimum to meet the needs of patients, address the inequities in healthcare, and even follow federal government rules for their operations! 

ACORN International in partnership with Labor Neighbor Research & Training Center, and Local 100 United Labor Unions in recent weeks has filed complaints against 178 hospitals in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas for failing to provide patients with price transparency, per the CMS’ latest guidelines/policy.

These hospitals either have no pricing information available or have it displayed in such a way that it is inaccessible to patients seeking the information. The regulation requires that the information be machine-readable, so it can be compared, but many hospitals have made comparison impossible, contrary to the regulation.  

As of the beginning of this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  has a policy requiring price transparency in effect Jan. 1, 2021

  • “Starting January 1, 2021, each hospital operating in the United States will be required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide in two ways: As a comprehensive machine-readable file with all items and services. In a display of shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format.” (source)
  • Part of CMS’ actions to “address the health equity gap, ensure consumers have the information they need to make fully informed decisions regarding their health care, improve emergency care access in rural communities, and use lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic to inform patient care and quality measurements.” 

Not only is there a crisis in medical costs, as longer-term research is proving, but patients and the general public cannot even access information about their procedures, price shop, or even find out exactly how much it will cost in advance, this means patients cannot “make fully informed and value-conscious decisions” 

CMS has threatened to begin finding hospitals for their impunity in not following the regulation and posting their prices transparently.  Our survey of hospitals in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas indicates that many of them will soon be facing significant penalties for consumer abuse in not filing.

https://laborneighbor.org/

ACORN Cameroon Water rights campaign: neighborhood organizing meetings

ACORN Cameroon organized meetings between members from the neighborhoods and representatives of the Douala 5 city hall, to try to open up a dialog with the corporate decision-makers, who refuse negotiation.

Discussion in small groups to define priority issues and seek accountability from the city hall

For ACORN India Black Friday is #MakeAmazonPay day

On Black Friday, join workers and activists around the world as we mobilize to #MakeAmazonPay.

Amazon workers paid for Jeff Bezos to go space. On 26 November, they are demanding justice — and asking you to join them: MakeAmazonPay.com

Amazon could give each of its workers a Covid-19 bonus of $690,000 — and still be as rich as the start of the pandemic. 

On Black Friday, join workers and activists around the world as we mobilize to #MakeAmazonPay.

Many of you are ready to mobilize on Black Friday. If you want to organize too and haven’t yet, do get in touch! Action materials can be found here, and we can connect you with other organizations in your country. If you cannot organize but want to show your solidarity and support, please do amplify the #MakeAmazonPay message and materials on social media.

OnEstEnsemble Flash Mob in Cameroon

Today in front of Camwater company: 1000 Households were represented in the demand for a network-wide extension on their water services. On Est Ensemble, a Cameroon ACORN affiliate organized a flash mob at the local company office and through the community

Regional management agreed to go straight in the neighborhoods with the members to assess the situation
It was interesting to learn that with a few tips, an un authorised action can be legitimate in the eye of the army, who accompany the delegation on the field

Regional management agreed to go straight in the neighborhoods with the members to assess the situation

ACCESS TO DRINKING WATER FOR ALL: Rehabilitation of a Free of a Free Public Fountain in Douala

In order to provide sustainable solutions in terms of access to drinking water, members of the local branch OnEstEnsemble Bepanda Yonyong called on the Mayor of the district municipality of Douala 5 for the rehabilitation of a terminal. public fountain with 10 taps. After collecting 150 signatures accompanied by correspondence, in July 2021 the district experienced a descent by city hall officials to touch on the realities on the ground. The relevance of the problem was quickly established by the 6th Deputy to whom the file was sent, immediately launching a call to march for the repair of the water point in September 2021 The rehabilitation works are presented at around 4 and a half million FCFA and lasted 56 days. To date, the 10 water taps are operational to the great pleasure of the residents of the neighborhood, who will no longer travel great distances to obtain drinking water.


ACCES A L’EAU POTABLE POUR TOUS]: REHABILITATION D’UNE FONTAINE PUBLIQUE GRATUITE À DOUALA 

Dans le but d’apporter des solutions durables en matière d’accès à l’eau potable , les membres de l’antenne locale OnEstEnsemble  Bepanda Yonyong ont interpellé le Maire de la commune d’arrondissement de Douala 5 pour la réhabilitation d’une borne fontaine publique à 10 robinets. Après une collecte de 150 signatures accompagnée d’une correspondance, le quartier a connu au mois de juillet 2021 une descente des agents de la mairie pour toucher du doigt les réalités sur le terrain. La pertinence du problème a été très vite établie par le 6ème Adjoint vers qui le dossier a été diligenté, lançant à l’immédiat un appel à marcher pour la réfection du point d’eau au mois de septembre 2021

Les travaux de réhabilitation sont présentés à hauteur d’environ 4 millions et demi de FCFA et ont duré 56 jours.

A ce jour, les 10 robinets à eau sont fonctionnels au grand plaisir des habitants du quartier, qui ne vont plus parcourir de grandes distances pour s’approvisionner en eau potable. 

#ensembleonestplusfort

#ensembleonvaplusloin

#OnEstEnsemble

TRANSPARENCY OF PUBLIC ACTION IN CAMEROON: The municipality of Douala’s consulted the ONEST Association to Propose 2022-2024 Program Budget

As part of the development of the 2022 – 2024 program budget for the district municipality of Douala 5, the OnEstEnsemble association was involved in identifying the needs of the inhabitants of each district.
4 major themes have been identified to make proposals in this case:

  • Improving the supply of basic social services
  • Promotion of economic development and environmental protection (improve
    the attractiveness of the territory and sustainable development)
  • Promotion of citizenship, culture, sport and youth
  • Governance and local administration
    Several consultations are currently being carried out in the 11 neighborhoods where the association is established. All members have been called upon to identify the problems that undermine the districts of Douala 5. These needs will be submitted to the municipal council in November 2021 dedicated to the development of the budget of the district municipality of Douala 5.
    A monitoring and watch committee has been set up in the neighborhoods to ensure the smooth running of the projects to be carried out by the town hall of Douala5.

We are together

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OnEstEnsembleCM
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OnEstEnsemble-1592766587434716
YouTube channel: OnEstEnsemble Cameroon – YouTube


[TRANSPARENCE DE L’ACTION PUBLIQUE AU CAMEROUN] :

  LA COMMUNE D’ARRONDISSEMENT DE DOUALA 5 CONSULTE L’ASSOCIATION ONESTENSEMBLE POUR APPORTER DES PROPOSITIONS AU BUDGET PROGRAMME 2022-2024

Dans le cadre de l’élaboration du budget programme 2022 – 2024 de la commune d’arrondissement de Douala 5, l’association OnEstEnsemble a été associée à l’identification les besoins des habitants de chaque quartier. 

4 thématiques majeures ont été identifiées pour faire des propositions en occurrence : 

– Amélioration de l’offre des services sociaux de base

– Promotion du développement économique et protection de l’environnement (améliorer

l’attractivité du territoire et développement durable)

– Promotion de la citoyenneté, culture, sport et jeunesse

– Gouvernance et administration locale

Plusieurs consultations sont actuellement réalisées dans les 11 quartiers où l’association est implantée. Tous les membres ont été mis en contribution pour identifier sur les problèmes qui minent les quartiers de Douala 5.  Ces besoins seront soumis au conseil municipal de Novembre 2021 dédié à l’élaboration du budget de la commune d’arrondissement de Douala 5. 

Un comité de suivi et de veille a été mis sur pied dans les quartiers pour s’assurer de la bonne marche des projets à réaliser par la mairie de Douala5. 

#OnEstEnsemble 

Twitter : https://twitter.com/OnEstEnsembleCM 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OnEstEnsemble-1592766587434716 

chaine YouTube : OnEstEnsemble Cameroun – YouTube 

Cameroon: Access to Drinkable Water for All! Rehabilitating a public drinking and 10 sinks for free in the Bepanda Yonyong Neighborhood in Douala


Before the Fountain was rehabilitated

For several years, the problem of access to drinking water has arisen acutely in Bepanda Yonyong. After a few brainstorming meetings aimed at finding lasting solutions to this problem, the members of the OnEstEnsemble antenna Bepanda Yonyong Association decided to grab the bull by the horns by calling on the Mayor of the district municipality of Douala 5 by asking for the restoration of the drinking water supply point located in front of the Consulate of Benin.


This interpellation was then very quickly made in July 2021 by mail accompanied by a petition of more than 200 signatures. In view of the determination of the members, who never ceased to remind the Mayor on this issue, the relevance of the problem was quickly established by the 6th Deputy to whom the file was sent. The latter then organized working sessions with the leaders of the local branch.


The rehabilitation works are around 4 million FCFA and began on September 1, 2021 to the great satisfaction of the inhabitants. The restoration of the water point will last 60 days. In a few days, it will be the end of the ordeal of these residents who travel long distances to obtain the precious liquid. A monitoring committee has been set up to ensure rigorous monitoring and the smooth running of the work.

Beginning of the Rehabilitation

together we are stronger

[𝗔𝗖𝗖𝗘𝗦 𝗔 𝗟’𝗘𝗔𝗨 𝗣𝗢𝗧𝗔𝗕𝗟𝗘 𝗣𝗢𝗨𝗥 𝗧𝗢𝗨𝗦] : 𝗥𝗘𝗛𝗔𝗕𝗜𝗟𝗜𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗗’𝗨𝗡𝗘 𝗕𝗢𝗥𝗡𝗘 𝗙𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗔𝗜𝗡𝗘 𝗣𝗨𝗕𝗟𝗜𝗤𝗨𝗘 𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗧𝗨𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗔 𝟭𝟬 𝗥𝗢𝗕𝗜𝗡𝗘𝗧𝗦 𝗔𝗨 𝗤𝗨𝗔𝗥𝗧𝗜𝗘𝗥 𝗕𝗘𝗣𝗔𝗡𝗗𝗔 𝗬𝗢𝗡𝗬𝗢𝗡𝗚 A DOUALA

Depuis plusieurs années, le problème d’accès à l’eau Potable se pose avec acuité à Bepanda Yonyong. Après quelques réunions de réflexion visant à trouver des solutions durables à ce problème, les membres de l’Association OnEstEnsemble antenne Bepanda Yonyong ont décidé de tenir le taureau par les cornes en interpellant le Maire de la commune d’arrondissement de Douala 5 en demandant la restauration du point d’adduction en eau potable situé en face du Consulat du Bénin. 

Cette interpellation a alors très vite été faite au mois de Juillet 2021 par voie de courrier accompagné d’une pétition de plus de 200 signatures. Au regard de la détermination des membres, qui n’ont cessé de relancer le Maire sur cette question, la pertinence du problème a été très vite établie par le 6ème Adjoint vers qui le dossier a été diligenté. Celui-ci a alors organisé des séances de travail avec les leaders de l’antenne locale. 

Les travaux de réhabilitation tournent autour d’environ 4 millions de FCFA et ont débuté ce 1er Septembre 2021 à la grande satisfaction des habitants. La restauration du point d’eau va durer 60 jours.

Dans quelques jours, ce sera la fin du calvaire de ces riverains qui parcourent de longue distance pour se procurer le précieux liquide.

Un comité de veille a été mis en place pour assurer un suivi rigoureux et la bonne marche des travaux. 

#ensembleonestplusfort

#ensembleonvaplusloin

#OnEstEnsemble

Cameroon: Updates on the Non-Violent Citizens Action:

This Friday, October 1, 2021, 15 members of the #OnEstEnsemble ( #Wearetogether) association strengthened their efforts on the mechanisms of non-violent citizen action. The 2 modules that furnished this training were in fact: the notion of citizen action and then the notion of Non-violence and the mechanisms underlying this practice in a context of repression as in Cameroon. This training is the response to a necessary social transformation that involves a change of minds and is essential as one of the options in the face of numerous social injustices. Another session will take place in November on community mobilization.

[𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗦𝗨𝗥 𝗟’𝗔𝗖𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 𝗖𝗜𝗧𝗢𝗬𝗘𝗡𝗡𝗘 𝗡𝗢𝗡 𝗩𝗜𝗢𝗟𝗘𝗡𝗧𝗘] : 𝗟𝗘𝗦 MILITANTS 𝗗𝗘 𝗟’𝗔𝗦𝗦𝗢𝗖𝗜𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗢𝗡 ONESTENSEMBLE 𝗦𝗘 𝗥𝗘𝗡𝗙𝗢𝗥𝗖𝗘𝗡𝗧 

Ce vendredi 1er Octobre 2021 , 15 membres de l’association OnEstEnsemble se sont renforcés sur les mécanismes de l’action citoyenne non violente. 

Les 2 modules qui ont meublé cette formation étaient en occurrence : la notion d’action citoyenne et ses étapes clés ensuite la notion de Non-violence et les mécanismes qui sous-tendent cette pratique dans un contexte de répression comme au Cameroun.  

Cette formation est la réponse à une nécessaire transformation sociale qui passe par un changement des esprits et s’impose comme l’une des options face aux nombreuses injustices sociales. 

Une prochaine session aura lieu au mois de Novembre prochain sur la mobilisation communautaire. 

#ensembleonestplusfort

#ensembleonvaplusloin

#OnEstEnsemble

MURALES: TEGUCIGALPA HONDURAS

⚠️ NEW QUALITY OF LIFE SURVEY ⚠️: Examines NOLA Citizens Attitudes On Major Issues

SUPPORT IS STRONG FOR $15 WAGE & ENFORCEMENT, BRINGING ENERGY IN LINE, AND IMPROVING GARBAGE COLLECTION AND POLICE PROTECTION

Survey Report and Data available on request and will be shared on Zoom conference
Zoom Press Conference: Tuesday, October 5, 2021 1:00 PM

for the Zoom link email communications@acorninternational.org

A post-Ida quality of life poll released today provides a fresh snapshot on a variety of issues including Entergy, garbage, crime, the city’s recovery, the $15 minimum wage, and Mayor Cantrell’s re-election prospects. The poll was funded by ACORN International, Local 100 United Labor Unions, and A Community Voice, an ACORN affiliate.  ACORN is headquartered in New Orleans and has 250,000 members in fifteen countries.  United Labor Unions Local 100 represents public and private sector workers in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas, including cleaning workers, healthcare workers, and sanitation workers (hoppers) in the city of New Orleans. 

 A Community Voice, ACV is also a locally-based non-profit community organization that fights for social and economic justice for low to moderate-income families. Conducted September 29 and 30, 2021 by an out-of-state pollster who regularly works in Louisiana, the poll surveyed 815 Orleans Parish registered voters via live calls and interactive voice response (IVR). The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4%.

By far the most popular response indicated support for both a $15 minimum wage for city workers and all contractors, as well as active enforcement by the Mayor and City Council of the city minimum wage for workers and contractors.  This question received the highest-level support in the survey with 69.6% of respondents supporting the initiative, 13.9% opposing it, and 16.5% undecided. Support was highest among Blacks (78.6%) and Democrats (76.1%). Of voters who consider themselves Support from “Other” voters, i.e. those who consider themselves multiracial, Latino or Asian, etc., was stronger than support from White voters. Support was also greatest (85.4%) in the Mid-City neighborhood followed by Bywater/Upper 9, and then New Orleans East. 

There has been much public discussion surrounding Mayor Latoya Cantrell’s decision not to call for a mandatory evacuation. Even though a formal evacuation order was not in place, 64.1% or respondents indicated they did evacuate including 71.5% of Blacks, 53.0% of Whites, and 48.7% of Other. The largest group which evacuated were Blacks over the age of 65. New Orleans East residents accounted for 78.1% of evacuees followed by 66.1% of Mid-City residents, 63.3% of Bywater/Upper 9 residents, and 62.5% of Lakeview residents. Almost every citizen has been disappointed by the trash and debris that piled up on New Orleans streets after Hurricane Ida. In addition, one of the city’s contracted waste disposal companies was unable to properly service its route before the storm. The survey tested citizen satisfaction with pre-Ida garbage service. Respondents were almost equally divided on their satisfaction with the previous service. While 44.1% voiced satisfaction, 43.3% voiced dissatisfaction and 12.5% were undecided.  White (57%) and Other (45.7%) were more pleased than Blacks (36.8%). Support was also highest among Republicans (51.1%), White males (59.1%), and residents of the French Quarter/CBD/Warehouse District (73.3%).

Dissatisfaction was most adamant in the Lower 9th Ward where more than 75% voiced displeasure. Entergy has been under ongoing significant scrutiny for transmission and distribution failures as well as for slow restoration of service after Hurricane Ida. Overall, only 36.7% of respondents indicated satisfaction with Entergy’s performance while 47.4% voiced disappointment and 16.0% were undecided.  Satisfaction was highest among Republicans (44.4%), Other Males (50.0%) as well as Lakeview residents (53.8%). Support for Entergy’s performance is lowest in the Lower 9th Ward (14.3%).

Many residents have viewed Mayor Cantrell favorably for her COVID-19 response efforts. Almost a majority of citizens appear to support her post-Ida work as well – 46.9% of voters think she has done a good job versus 29.8% who are dissatisfied and 23.3% who are undecided. Her support is strongest among Blacks (58.8%), Democrats (52.7%), and Black males (53.8%) as well as residents of New Orleans East (56.8%). Cantrell’s support for her post-Ida response efforts is weakest in Lakeview and the French Quarter/CBD/Warehouse District.   The survey asked whether citizens feel safer now than they did before Mayor Cantrell took office. Only 19.1% feel safer now, 45.4% do not feel safer and 35.4% are undecided. Those who feel not as safe include Whites (61.7%), Republicans (70.1%), and White females (62.0%).

Despite the extra police protection available in the 8th District, 71.4% of residents in the French Quarter/CBD/Warehouse District articulated they did not feel as safe since Cantrell took office. Mayor Cantrell and other municipal officeholders are all up for reelection in November 2021.  Fourteen candidates, including Cantrell, are competing in the race for mayor. Based on her performance during the last four years, survey participants were asked if they would prefer to vote for her or another candidate.  Fewer than half the respondents (44.75%) were fully committed to voting for Cantrell. Thirty-three percent (33.3%) said they would prefer another candidate and the remainder (22.2%) were undecided. Cantrell’s support for reelection is strongest among Blacks (58.1%), Black females (58.3%), and Democrats (52.5%). She is also most popular in Mid-City (54.2%), closely followed by New Orleans East and Bywater/Upper Nine. 

 “A Community Voice (ACV) is committed to serving the citizens of New Orleans including the working poor, the elderly, women, children, and families. This survey has provided valuable information that will help us better support our members and constituents,” said Debra Campbell, an ACV leader. Wade Rathke, Chief Organizer of ACORN and Local 100 United Labor Unions, said “We represent workers contracted to the city of New Orleans to clean their buildings, garbage workers who pick up the trash in difficult conditions, and health care workers entrusted with life and death for their charges.  The pandemic and Hurricane Ida has established how essential these workers are.  

This survey indicates that the public supports them and wants them not only to receive a fair wage but to see the full force of the City enforcing fair wages and working conditions for these workers.  We hope the Mayor and Council take the public’s opinions to heart and convert their views into action.“We’ll also be closely watching the choices they make while governing to ensure that all the citizens are well served. We are starting by reviewing the candidates currently running in our municipal elections and the public contracts already in place,” said community organizer Pat Bryant.  Byrant is involved in the newly formed grassroots coalition “Hold ‘Em Accountable New Orleans.

New Orleans voters or organizations interested in more information about the poll and their neighborhood should contact ACORN, ACV, or Local 100 at 2221 St. Claude Avenue.  Those interested in work with Hold ‘Em Accountable NOLA should reach out via Facebook.

For additional information:

Wade Rathke 504-628-8050 chieforganizer@unitedlaborunions.org

Pat Bryant 504 905-4137 pat46bryant@yahoo.com


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