With a green light from the federal government, states across the U.S. have thrown hundreds of thousands of low-income people off Medicaid in recent weeks—and many have lost coverage because they failed to navigate bureaucratic mazes, not because they were no longer eligible.
More than a dozen states, including Florida and other Republican-led states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, have begun removing people from Medicaid as part of the “unwinding” of a pandemic-era federal policy that temporarily barred governments from kicking people off the program.
Progressives are applauding what Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman called the state’s “transformational” legislative session, which ended on Tuesday after the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party passed nearly every item on its agenda, securing economic justice, reproductive rights, and labor protections for Minnesotans.
With the DFL holding only a narrow majority in the state House and Senate—a six-vote and one-vote margin, respectively—policy researcher Will Stancil said on social media that “the scale of their achievement cannot be overstated.”
Opponents of a contentious $1 billion subsidy for online retail behemoth Amazon’s data centers in Oregon on Friday decried what one critic called “corporate welfare” for a company that raked in more than a half a trillion dollars in revenue last year.
Amazon already has four data centers in Morrow County, Oregon and plans on building six more Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud-computing facilities there. Earlier this month, Port of Morrow commissioners approved tax breaks for Amazon with an estimated value of $1 billion.
With global poverty and hunger rising amid the intertwining crises of war, public health emergencies, and climate change, Amnesty International on Wednesday issued an urgent call for governments worldwide to implement universal social protections to ensure that healthcare, childcare, pensions, disability payments, and other benefits are available to all who need them.
Noting that many popular uprisings and mass protests across the globe in recent years have been fueled by economic and social concerns, Amnesty lamented that governments have turned to “repression and unnecessary and excessive use of force” against struggling demonstrators instead of addressing their core concerns, such as high food prices and paltry wages.
Civil liberties defenders on Wednesday decried yet another bill passed by Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature attacking academic freedom, while calling on Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis to take the unlikely step of vetoing the measure.
S.B. 266 would require Florida’s Board of Education and its state university system’s board of governors to establish faculty committees tasked with reviewing and, if deemed necessary, rejecting or adjusting all general education courses.
A whistleblower from the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa says Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, earned $10.3 million in commissions over seven years from her job as a headhunter at the company, where she placed attorneys with law firms—including at least one that argued a case before the Supreme Court after the placement was made.
Sullivan Roberts earned the money between 2007 and 2014, having taken a job with the company two years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a report out Friday from Business Insider.
The United States’ counterterrorism efforts in Somalia, which were ramped up after the emergence of the armed group al-Shabab in 2006, are worsening the East African country’s instability, according to a new analysis released Thursday as progressives in Congress voted for a withdrawal of all U.S. troops from the nation.
As the Costs of War project at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University said in the new report, the U.S. has spent at least $2.5 billion on counterterrorism operations in Somalia since 2007, including funding for the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army. This figure does not include the undisclosed amount of money the government has poured into intelligence and military operations there.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota on Monday signed one of the nation’s most draconian abortion bans into law, just weeks after the state’s GOP lawmakers shot down a proposal to provide free school lunches to low-income students.
The new forced pregnancy law, which takes immediate effect, prohibits abortion care in nearly all cases. Abortion is allowed in cases of rape or incest, but only during the first six weeks of pregnancy—before many people realize they are pregnant. Abortion is also allowed without gestational limits if terminating a pregnancy could prevent the pregnant person’s “death or a serious health risk.”
“Businesses are deploying potentially dangerous AI tools faster than their harms can be understood or mitigated,” Public Citizen warns. “History offers no reason to believe that corporations can self-regulate away the known risks.”
“Until meaningful government safeguards are in place to protect the public from the harms of generative AI, we need a pause.”
So says a report on the dangers of artificial intelligence (AI) published Tuesday by Public Citizen. Titled Sorry in Advance! Rapid Rush to Deploy Generative AI Risks a Wide Array of Automated Harms, the analysis by researchers Rick Claypool and Cheyenne Hunt aims to “reframe the conversation around generative AI to ensure that the public and policymakers have a say in how these new technologies might upend our lives.”