NLF Highlights

Health Care in America: A Multidimensional Crisis

NLF Highlights for May

In this May Day installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter, we bring you advance reading of two major articles from our spring 2021 issue, due out later this month. In an article titled Deindustrialization, Working-Class Decline, and the Growth of Health Care, historian and former NLF Books and the Arts Editor Gabriel Winant examines the vast expansion of the health care sector of our economy over the past half-century. He traces its development to a combination of factors, including deindustrialization, union decline, an aging population, and a shredded social safety net. It is this historical process, Winant argues, that ushered in a burgeoning low-wage health care workforce disproportionately represented by women and people of color , who have become both essential and disposable, a contradiction made blatantly clear by the Covid-19 pandemic. In an accompanying article, our podcast editor, Nadhia Rahman describes the struggle of roughly 10 million undocumented immigrants virtually shut out of our health care system. With the exception of two municipal programs—NY Cares and My Health in Los Angeles— making healthcare available to residents without regard to legal status, undocumented immigrants are perilously left to cobble together care for themselves and their families, mostly at an assortment of sorely underfunded free clinics.

Relatedly, we offer the latest episode of our podcast in which NLF Books and Arts Editor Samir Sonti hosts a conversation with Gabriel Winant regarding his recent book, The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America. And we invite you to join a virtual forum with contributors to the timely new book, Immigration Matters: Movements, Visions, and Strategies for a Progressive Future, edited by School of Labor and Urban Studies faculty members Ruth Milkman, Deepak Bhargava, and Penny Lewis.

Table of Contents

      1. Deindustrialization, Working-Class Decline, and the Growth of Health Care / Gabriel Winant, New Labor Forum
      2. Undocumented Immigrants Shut Out / Nadhia Rahman, New Labor Forum
      3. Reinventing Solidarity Episode 15 – The Next Shift: The Fall Industry & the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America
      4. Immigration Matters: Movements, Visions, & Strategies for a Progressive Future – SLU EVENT, May 6th 12pm to 1pm (ET)

Deindustrialization, Working-Class Decline, and the Growth of Health Care
by Gabriel Winant, New Labor Forum

Far beyond what we might have expected, the Covid-19 pandemic has posed questions not only of epidemiology but also concerning labor. In 2020, the phenomenon of “essential workers” emerged—with all of its outrages of insufficient staff, equipment, and pay—because we had already designated an enormous workforce as simultaneously necessary for our society’s survival and reproduction, yet individually disposable.
Read the full article here

U.S. Health Care: Undocumented Immigrants Shut Out

by Nadhia Rahman, New Labor Forum

The undocumented population in the United States has been forced to navigate a country where vitriol against immigrants runs rampant, which makes them exceptionally vulnerable and much less likely to seek help in times of need. In this atmosphere, most undocumented individuals and families are forced to deal with health care needs largely on their own. This has become abundantly clear during the Covid-19 pandemic. With a death toll of over 500,000 and counting, the pandemic has brought to light the many deficiencies of our current health care system. Millions of people in the United States have lost their jobs in the wake of the global pandemic and have lost their health care as a result.

Read the full article here

Reinventing Solidarity Episode 15 –
The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry & the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America

New Labor Forum Books and Arts Editor Samir Sonti hosts a conversation with Gabriel Winant, author of the recent book, The Next Shift: The Fall of Industry and the Rise of Health Care in Rust Belt America. Examining the vast expansion of the health care sector of our economy over the past half-century, Winant traces its development to a combination of factors, including deindustrialization, union decline, an aging population, and a shredded social safety net. It is this historical process, Winant argues, that ushered in a burgeoning low-wage health care workforce disproportionately represented by women and people of color , who have become both essential and disposable, a contradiction made blatantly clear by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Listen here

Immigration Matters: Movements, Visions, & Strategies for a Progressive Future

CUNY SLU Virtual Event

Thursday, May 6th

12 pm – 1 pm (ET)

Join contributors to the timely new book, Immigration Matters, for a discussion of immigration policy and movements past, present and future – with a special focus on labor and immigration reform.

Moderator:

Penny Lewis, Faculty – CUNY SLU; Co-editor – Immigration Matters

Speakers:

Eliseo Medina, former Secretary-Treasurer – SEIU; Contributor – Immigration Matters
D. Taylor, President – UNITE HERE; Contributor – Immigration Matters

Ruth Milkman, Faculty – CUNY SLU; Co-editor – Immigration Matters

RSVP here

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