Compounding the Risk for Coal Miners

by Editorial Board

03.20.17   President Trump's vow to bring back the coal industry's heyday is a delusion. But it's already inspiring Republican legislatures in Appalachia to resurrect a grim element of those boom times: loose safety laws that endangered miners' lives and protected owners' profits. Republican leaders contend the federal government can do the inspections just as well as the states. This is a remarkable turn by politicians usually heard decrying the intrusiveness of Washington bureaucrats. The Trump adminis… Continue Reading

Grijalva: Republican Health Care Plan Hurts Arizona

by Nancy Montoya

03.20.17   The Republican health care plan will hurt Southern Arizona hospitals, along with those who lose health care in the state, Democratic U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva says. The state Medicaid system analysis released last week by The Associated Press estimated the plan now working its way through the U.S. House of Representatives will knock 380,000 Arizonans off of health insurance rolls. "The major hospital systems would then have to deal with people coming into their emergency rooms, and by law… Continue Reading

African Americans Have Much to Lose Under House GOP Health Plan

by Peggy Bailey

03.17.17   Running for President, President Trump asked African Americans, "What do you have to lose by trying something new like Trump?" As it turns out, one answer is health insurance. With the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimating that the House Republican health plan would cause 24 million people to lose health insurance, African Americans have particular reason for concern due to existing health disparities and related financial burdens. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) boosted the African Ame… Continue Reading

Meals on Wheels Helps Millions in LA, But Faces Large Cut in President Tump's Proposed Budget

by Elex Michaelson

03.16.17   MARINA DEL REY, Calif. (KABC) -- Meals on Wheels serves about 17 million meals each year in Los Angeles County through a variety of funding sources, but after President Donald Trump proposed a new budget, a significant source of funds could be drying up.Patrick Ward is disabled and lives on a fixed income. It's not easy for him to shop for himself."It was something that changed my life," Ward said. "Every day I know that food is coming and I don't have to worry about it. It means a peace of min… Continue Reading

‘It's merciless’: Democrats focus on seniors while attacking GOP health care bill

by Liz Goodwin

03.13.17   As congressional Republicans enter their second week pushing to overhaul the nation's health care system, Democrats have latched on to what they hope will be a particularly potent line of attack: the bill's implications for seniors, a key voting group in the midterm elections. At two marathon committee markups of the legislation last week, Democratic members of Congress blasted their colleagues for pushing through a bill that allows insurers to charge higher premiums for older people, referring… Continue Reading

Why a House bill wants workers' genetic information

by Ben Rosen

03.12.17   Since 2008, Americans have been protected from being penalized for refusing a genetic test in the workplace or having to share the results with their employer. That could change under legislation the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved on Wednesday. Passed along party lines, the bill, put forward by chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (R) of North Carolina, is now under review by other House committees. If enacted, the legislation would mean that employees who refuse to submit to… Continue Reading

GOP-sponsored bill may help companies obtain your genetic information

by Edmund DeMarche

03.11.17   House Democrats and a number of privacy advocacy groups came out against a House GOP-sponsored bill that would reportedly make it easier for employers to gain access to genetic information about their employees and their families. The New York Times reported Friday that the bill-- called the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act-- may also significantly increase the costs if someone chooses not to participate in a company wellness program that requires the genetic information. Fortune mag… Continue Reading

Employees who decline genetic testing could face penalties under proposed bill

by Lena H. Sun

03.11.17   Employers could impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs if a bill approved by a U.S. House committee this week becomes law. In general, employers don't have that power under existing federal laws, which protect genetic privacy and nondiscrimination. But a bill passed Wednesday by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce would allow employers to get around those obstacles if the information is collected as… Continue Reading

How Healthy Are You? G.O.P. Bill Would Help Employers Find Out

by Reed Abelson

03.10.17   A bill in Congress could make it harder for workers to keep employers from getting access to their personal medical and genetic information and raise the financial penalties for those who opt out of workplace wellness programs. House Republicans are proposing legislation aimed at making it easier for companies to gather genetic data from workers and their families, including their children, when they collect it as part of a voluntary wellness program. The bill, the Preserving Employee Wellness… Continue Reading

AARP comes out against House GOP health care bill

by Eli Watkins

03.08.17   The AARP issued a statement on Tuesday declaring its opposition to the health care bill touted by GOP leadership this week. The letter -- from one of the most influential groups in domestic policy -- is the latest blow for a bill that has already seen opposition from many conservative leaders, media organizations and interest groups. "This bill would weaken Medicare's fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64 and put at risk the health care of mi… Continue Reading

10 million may lose health insurance coverage under GOP's Obamacare replacement plan, S&P says

by Dan Mangan

03.07.17   Between 6 million and 10 million people would lose health insurance coverage if a Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act becomes law, a new report estimates. The top end of those losses, or 10 million people, is equal to half of the 20 million or so people who have gained coverage in the past seven years under Obamacare. The sobering estimate came from S&P Global Ratings on Tuesday, less than a full day after House GOP leaders released their plan for gutting key elements of… Continue Reading

What's at Stake For Schools in the Debate Over the Affordable Care Act

by Alyson Klein

03.07.17   The Trump administration and congressional Republicans are in the midst of trying to figure out whether to tweak, or toss the Obama administration's biggest domestic achievement, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-or "Obamacare" to the haters. (In fact, the House GOP released an ACA overhaul plan late Monday.) Believe it or not, the law has had big implications for school districts and kids-and getting rid of it or changing it significantly could end up being a big deal for educator… Continue Reading

Republicans poised to roll back worker safety regulations

by Kimberly Kindy

03.06.17   President Trump and congressional Republicans are poised to roll back a series of Obama-era worker safety regulations targeted by business groups, starting with a rule that would require federal contractors to disclose and correct serious safety violations. The Senate is set to vote Monday evening to eliminate the regulation, dubbed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces rule. Finalized in August and blocked by a court order in October, the rule would limit the ability of companies with recent safety… Continue Reading

DeVos and Tax Credit Vouchers: Arizona Shows What Can Go Wrong

by Kevin Carey

03.02.17   Steve Yarbrough is one of the most powerful men in Arizona. As president of the State Senate, he has promoted a range of conservative policies, including a tuition tax credit system that provides over $100 million per year to finance vouchers for private schools. In his speech to Congress this week, President Trump singled out a young woman who attended private school using a tax credit-financed voucher. The president urged Congress to pass legislation that would provide similar benefits to mil… Continue Reading

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is getting some very bad news about her favorite thing, school vouchers

by Michael Hiltzik

02.28.17   A raft of recent studies about school vouchers couldn't have come at a worse time for our new Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. That's because the studies report devastatingly bad results for students in those voucher programs. And they've been flowing into public forums just as DeVos, a leading advocate of school vouchers, takes charge of federal education policy. DeVos's patron, President Trump, proposed during his campaign to shovel $20 billion to the states to support magnet and charter s… Continue Reading

Report: Public schools in the District remain highly segregated

by Mandy McLaren

02.27.17   Public schools in the nation's capital remain highly segregated, a new analysis shows, with many D.C. campuses enrolling almost exclusively students of color despite an influx of white families into the city in recent years. The Civil Rights Project at UCLA found in a report released this month that 71 percent of black students in the D.C. public school system and the city's charter sector attended schools in 2013 that had virtually no white peers. That was down from nearly 90 percent in 1992. … Continue Reading

The Adults a Medicaid Work Requirement Would Leave Behind

by Abby Goodnough

02.25.17   JACKSONVILLE, Ark. - On a frigid morning here, Nancy Godinez was piling bread and other staples into her car outside a food pantry. She had lost her job as a custodian, her unemployment checks had run out, and her job search had proved fruitless. One thing she still had was health insurance, acquired three years ago after Arkansas' Republican-controlled legislature agreed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The coverage, she said, has allowed her to get regular checkups and treatm… Continue Reading

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

She voted for Trump. Now she fears losing the Obamacare plan that saved her life

by Noam N. Levey

02.24.17   Kathy Watson was anxious about her health coverage even before she woke up gasping for breath last month and drove herself to the emergency room with a flare-up in her heart condition. After struggling for years without insurance, the 55-year-old former small-business owner - who has battled diabetes, high blood pressure and two cancers - credits Obamacare with saving her life. Watson also voted for Donald Trump, believing the businessman would bring change. She dismissed his campaign pledges… 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

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