Kaiser Institute Health Care Courses

Because workers need an in-depth knowledge of the rapidly changing health care industry as well as the skills to secure the best possible benefits for their unions, the National Labor College, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, established the Kaiser Permanente Health Care Institute (KPHCI). In addition to NLC's current course in Healthcare Bargaining, the KPHCI will offer new courses in the healthcare field as a part of our Bachelors Degree. KPHCI is also developing a four-course Certificate in Health Care as a part of our Union Skills courses. Each year the KPHCI will also host a national conference on healthcare bargaining and benefits at NLC.

Three health care courses are available to students in 2008. The first class, Health Care Bargaining, is a semester-long course that begins online in the winter semester starting January 7 and ends April 28, and requires face-to-face classes three hours per day at the NLC, February 2-8, 2008. The second class, Health Care that Works: Reform or Band-aid is a semester long class that begins online April 28 and ends August 18 and requires face to face classes three hours per day at the NLC, June 1-6, 2008. The third class, Health Benefits Future, is offered in a fully online format, during the winter semester, October 6 - February 6, 2009. All are 3 credits.

To register for these classes, click the IQ.Web button on the front page of the NLC web site.  If you are not yet an NLC student, you will also need to apply to the college through IQ. Web.  If you encounter any problems with online application or registration, please call or e-mail Registrar Eve Dauer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-431-5410 or Jim Osborn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 301-431-5417.

AETNA Scholarships

Women and people of color interested in taking either or both of these courses are eligible to apply for the AETNA Healthcare Scholarship for Minority Students in the labor movement. Eligible candidates who wish to take either of these health care courses should contact Tracie Sumner at 301-628-4253 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A limited number of other scholarships are also available through the NLC for students in our degree programs. For more information about these general scholarships, contact Tracie Sumner, as noted above.

Health Care Course Descriptions

New! Health Care that Works: Reform or Band-aid
This class is designed to develop leadership and advocacy skills around health care reform for union staff, leaders and activists. The first five weeks of the course will examine the historical struggle for national health insurance, the role of labor in fighting for guaranteed health care for all Americans, background on the policies and politics that drive the U.S. health care system and examine various reform efforts and the opportunity and challenges faced in 2008.  It will focus on current education and organizing efforts at both the state and national levels. Students will be encouraged to become politically active in local health reform efforts in their community, union or state campaign.

LBUA4110: Health Care Bargaining. This class will begin with an overview of the U.S. health care system, emphasizing key features such as hospitals, prescription drugs, testing and medical devices, and cost-drivers such as over-treatment and Rx marketing and research schemes. Students will learn bargaining dynamics by participating in a health care collective bargaining scenario during the week-in-residence. Following that week, each student will complete a research project chosen from a list provided by the instructor, but customized to his his/her own interests, experience, and union setting.

LBUA4100: Health Benefits Future. This course will focus on the history and future of health care as a job benefit. It will review the union role in establishing health care as an employer-provided benefit, and the union advantage in winning good health benefits. It will examine factors related to the declining numbers of workers with employer-provided health care and with union struggles to maintain low cost/high quality health benefits. Students will review the growing debate about whether health care should continue to be tied to employment, and will write a position paper on that question from the perspective of their union.