News

Why records matter to worker safety

by Jordan Barab

02.24.17   Another week and Congressional and White House attacks on worker rights and safety continue. Here's another proposed Congressional action guaranteed not to make headlines, but which will nevertheless have a damaging impact on worker safety. Last week, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) introduced a "resolution of disapproval" under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the "Volks Rule," which allows the agency to continue prosecuting recordkeeping violations as it had done in the first 40 years… Continue Reading


Support for 2010 health care law reaches new high

by Hannah Fingerhut

02.23.17   With congressional Republicans discussing proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act, public support for the 2010 health care law has reached its highest level on record. Currently, 54% approve of the health care law passed seven years ago by Barack Obama and Congress, while 43% disapprove, according to a national Pew Research Center survey conducted Feb. 7-12 among 1,503 adults. Throughout the law's history, opinions about the Affordable Care Act have tended to be more negative than pos… Continue Reading


Rep Scott criticizes repeal of federal guidance to protect transgender students

by Dave Ress

02.23.17   Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News, called on Congress to enact legislation making clear that gay and transgender individuals should not be subject to discrimination at school or at work. His statement came in reaction to the repeal of a formal Department of Education guidance that transgender students are protected under a 1972 federal law banning discrimination on the basis of sex. "The impact of the Trump Administration's repeal of the Title IX guidance leaves LGBTQ students in at least 31 st… Continue Reading


President Trump Breaks a Promise on Transgender Rights

by Editorial Board

02.23.17   On the campaign trail, Donald Trump broke with Republican Party orthodoxy by vowing to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from violence and oppression. Soon after taking office, Mr. Trump announced that he intended to continue enforcing an executive order his predecessor issued to protect L.G.B.T. people from workplace discrimination. "President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the L.G.B.T.Q. community," the White House said i… Continue Reading


Who’d Want to Limit Retirement Plans? House Republicans

by Editorial Board

02.14.17   There is no overstating how unprepared Americans are to retire. Nearly half of private-sector employees - some 55 million people - do not have an employer-provided retirement plan. Most of them are low- to middle-income earners who will end up relying on Social Security for between half and all of their income in retirement. And yet, as early as Wednesday, House Republicans are expected to pass a measure to thwart efforts by California, Illinois and other states to establish basic retirement sa… Continue Reading


Repair and retain Obamacare

by Editorial Board

02.13.17   When President Obama was in office, Republicans made a mantra of their call to "repeal and replace" his signature health care program. But now that they are actually in position to do something, they're flummoxed. They have no plan for a replacement anywhere near as robust as Obamacare. They can't even agree on what a significant rollback would look like. So might we suggest an alternative approach? It starts by treating Obamacare the same way that a doctor would treat a patient: First, do no … Continue Reading


Threat Of Losing Obamacare Turns Some Apolitical Californians Into Protesters

by Ana Ibarra

02.09.17   ROSEVILLE, Calif. - Until recently, Paul Smith didn't consider himself much of an activist. But he woke up hours before sunrise on Saturday to attend his first town hall meeting. That meeting near Sacramento, organized by his district's Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Roseville), sparked a peaceful - if large and raucous - protest over Obamacare, the travel ban and other issues. And it drew national headlines. "I have noticed many of my friends who never speak [about] politics are getting politi… Continue Reading


Patient groups fear Obamacare repeal could undo protections for sickest Americans

by Lev Facher

02.09.17   Washington- As Republicans confront the thorny realities of repealing and replacingthe Affordable Care Act, groups representing patients with the most serious diseases fear those plans could return the US health care system to one in which sick people are not guaranteed health insurance. It comes down to the individual mandate, the law's most unpopular provision, which required every American to buy insurance or face a penalty. Republicans want it gone. But if they nix the mandate, it becomes … Continue Reading


Obama’s Drug Czar: The Opioid Crisis Must Continue To Be A Federal Priority

by Shefali Luthra

02.09.17   The GOP is working to repeal and replace the 2010 health law, known for insuring more than 20 million people. And the change could affect another health concern: the nation's opioid abuse problem. Just ask President Barack Obama's former "drug czar," Michael Botticelli. Botticelli just finished running the White House's Office of National Drug Policy, a post he assumed in early 2014 as the opioid epidemic began making national headlines. The drugs, which claimed more than 33,000 lives in 2015,… Continue Reading


Obamacare Brought Jobs To Indian Country That Could Vanish With Repeal

by Eric Whitney

02.09.17   Since its founding in the 1950s, the Indian Health Service has provided medical care for many Native Americans. But the service has been chronically underfunded, so often pays for care only if someone is in immediate danger of losing life or limb. In recent years, the Affordable Care Act created new health coverage opportunities for more than half a million Native Americans and Alaska Natives - and created jobs in Indian country, too. The Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning, Mont., is one … Continue Reading


Obamacare repeal worries community health centers

by JoAnne Vivano

02.09.17   As Republican lawmakers work to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, officials at community health centers across Ohio say they are concerned that changes could halt progress they've made over the past several years in treating more people, expanding services and boosting economies in struggling areas. Such centers, set up to care for underserved populations, have benefited not only from an increase in funding authorized by the Affordable Care Act, but also from a provision of the law that allo… Continue Reading


'Obamacare' repeal could kill 62,000 Arizona jobs, study says

by Ken Alltucker

02.08.17   If Arizona loses all Affordable Care Act funding now funneled to patients, doctors, insurers and hospitals, it would create a nearly $5 billion hole in the state's economy and cost more than 62,000 jobs next year, according to a new report. That is the worst-case scenario outlined in a report commissioned by Children's Action Alliance and completed by the Seidman Research Institute at Arizona State University. The report projected a slightly smaller dip in job creation and economic impact if fe… Continue Reading


Repeal without replacement: A bad strategy for kids

by Charles Barone

02.08.17   Now that Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education, it's time to turn attention to the issue of governing. Believe it or not, a lot has been going on. Even though it's been drowned out by the debate over DeVos, the stakes are equally high, particularly when it comes to implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The passage of ESSA in December of 2015 reflected the leadership and bipartisan spirit brought to bear by President Obama and the four principal negotia… Continue Reading


In West Virginia, Men In Recovery Look To Trump For A 'Helping Hand'

by Sarah McCammon

02.08.17   Decorations are sparse at Recovery Point, a residential treatment center in Huntington, W.Va. That's why the bulletin board covered with photos of men stands out. The men spent time here, but didn't survive their addictions. They're all dead now. "We keep a constant reminder in here for individuals who come into our detox facility. We have, 'But for the grace of God, there go I,'" says Executive Director Matt Boggs, pointing to the words on the board. Boggs, 35, would know. He started as a res… Continue Reading


Why Obamacare repeal would be devastating to people with HIV

by Julia Belluz

02.08.17   Gina Brown was pregnant and single when she was diagnosed with HIV in 1994. "I thought I was going to die," she says. She promptly quit her job at a nursing home out of fear she'd infect her elderly patients. More than 20 years later, Brown, now 51, is working as a social worker in New Orleans. The discovery of antiretroviral treatments turned her HIV diagnosis from a death sentence into a chronic illness, and Brown now worries more about her heartburn than the virus. But getting health care ha… Continue Reading


Obamacare repeal could crush your retiree medical costs

by Tom Anderson

02.07.17   President Donald Trump said in an interview before the Super Bowl that replacing the Affordable Care Act could take the Republican-controlled Congress and his administration until next year. House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday that the legislation will be completed this year, though a potential rollout may take until 2018. Depending on if and how the law is scrapped, retirees and those headed for retirement could face higher costs for prescription drugs and preventive care. Though Obamacare p… Continue Reading


Hospitals would face higher charity costs without Obamacare

by Tony Leys

02.07.17   WASHINGTON - Eric Stimson says that if his cancer had struck when he was uninsured, it would have destroyed more than his voice box - it would have taken his dignity. The Des Moines, Iowa resident had gone more than two years without health insurance before regaining coverage with help from the Affordable Care Act in 2014. A few months later, he became desperately sick with throat cancer. Without his new coverage, he would have had to ask Iowa hospitals to shoulder most of the cost of his care,… Continue Reading


Va. could lose $20 million in public health funds with ACA repeal

by Katie Demeria

02.05.17   A blanket repeal of the Affordable Care Act could cause millions of dollars worth of public health funding to hit the chopping block, leaving the Virginia Department of Health more than $20 million short. While most of the focus around the ACA's repeal has been on what such a move would do to the country's uninsurance rate, little attention has been placed on the public health dollars wrapped up in the 2010 health law. "In the zest to repeal ACA, we uncovered, with a lot of our colleagues fr… Continue Reading


ACA repeal could cost Mecklenburg and NC millions in health funding

by Karen Garloch

02.05.17   North Carolina public health officials fear a repeal of the Affordable Care Act could mean the loss of about $20 million a year to support programs such as administering vaccines and investigating communicable diseases. "Losing these funds would be devastating to public health across the county," said Dr. Marcus Plescia, director of the Mecklenburg County Health Department in Charlotte. "I find it very, very discouraging." Nationally, repeal of the ACA could eliminate $3 billion in state and l… Continue Reading


598 Colleges Have ‘Concerns’ on Trump Travel Ban

by Mark Hensch

02.03.17   A coalition of 598 college and university presidents has released a letter voicing "concerns" with President Trump's temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations. In the letter, sent Friday to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly through the American Council on Education (ACE), the presidents say they are concerned about how the order will affect international students, faculty, researchers and staffers. "Our nation can only maintain its global scientific and economic leader… Continue Reading

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