Navigation

West Virginia

The Right-Wing Assault on University Campuses

Right-wing interests have been mounting a political assault on university professors they do not like, led by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), which is promoting so-called "Intellectual Diversity" (ID) Legislation in various states across the country. The concept was pioneered by right-wing activist David Horowitz (see this profile site for more on Horowitz).  

Toxic Toys Update

Our Dispatch and conference call last week highlighted ways in which states can fight toxic toys.    In case you missed it, the audio of the call can be found here.  Within a few days, several  states came forward with additional bills protecting the health of our children, including:

Utah Mine Disaster Shows Flaws in Federal Oversight

Despite over two and a half weeks of rescue efforts, six coal miners still remain trapped in Utah in a tragedy that has also claimed the lives of three rescuers. The dangerous conditions apparent at the mine, as well as the treacherous rescue plan, call into question the quality of federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) procedures. MSHA approved the mine operation plan in June, just months after serious structural problems forced the operators to abandon work in an area that was only 900 feet from where the miners are trapped. 

Wringing Costs Out of the Health Care System

We spend more than twice on health care than any other industrialized nation in the world, yet we don't have universal access and our outcomes are worse.  The reason we don't have universal access to quality health care is that too much of our health care spending -- our premiums, co-pays, prescriptions -- is wasted on profits, CEO bonuses and inefficient health care.

Big PhRMA and Marketing Prescription Drugs

Marketing experts will tell you that a doctor is one of the most trusted professionals when it comes to public credibility in advertising.  This holds true for their peers as well.

Defining Health Care Down

In states across the country, progressive leaders are stepping up to discuss how to achieve universal coverage for health care. At the same time, many on the Right are trying to define "health care coverage" to mean bare-bones care with often unaffordable cost-sharing for individuals and families.

Illinois Joins Pre-School for All Movement

This past week, Illinois Governor Blagojevich signed the first law in the nation that establishes the goal of universally-available public preschool for all 3- and 4-year olds in that state.

Progress on the Minimum Wage

After years of stagnating wages for working Americans and inaction by Congress, legislators and activists across the country are taking the lead in securing higher minimum wages on a state by state basis. They are achieving some outstanding results. Here's where the minimum wage fight stands in a number of states:

Defining Down Decent Health Care

Some politicians have a simple way to deal with the challenge of providing health care to the uninsured: cut the funding for those currently receiving care and deliver half-rate care to more people. West Virgina and Kentucky legislatures both voted recently to cut benefits for existing Medicaid recipients, taking advantage of a new federal law that allows states to selectively cut benefits for different populations.

The Fight for Fair Coverage

Following Maryland's adoption of a Fair Share Health Care Act requiring that large employers adequately fund employee health care or help shoulder the burden of Medicaid costs, similar efforts are afoot across the nation and Wal-Mart, one of the primary targets of the legislation, is moving into full-court press mode attempting to find ways to convince the public that it isn't shirking its responsibilities to its employees.