Friday, December 9, 2022


Sen. Markey rallies with unions and airport workers in D.C; PA Democrats 'showed up' for rural voters; Canadian mining expansion threatens tribes and watersheds in the Northwest.


The U.S. House of Representatives passes same-sex marriage protections, Brittany Griner comes back to the U.S, while Paul Whelan remains detained in Russia, and a former anti-abortion lobbyist talks politics and the Supreme Court.


The Farm Workforce Modernization Act could help more farmers, the USDA is stepping-up to support tribal nations, and Congress is urged to revive the expanded child tax credit.

U.S. Supreme Court Takes Up Future of Affordable Care Act


Monday, November 9, 2020   

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Tomorrow, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in cases that could decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act. Health coverage for more than a half-million Kentuckians is at stake, as well as millions of dollars in rural hospital revenue.

More than a dozen states are asking the court to repeal the 2010 law that overhauled the private health insurance market and expanded Medicaid. Dustin Pugel, senior analyst at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said before the ACA, Kentucky's uninsured rate was in the double digits. But Medicaid expansion opened coverage to hundreds of thousands - many for the first time.

"And they were able to get care for chronic conditions," Pugel said. "There was a lot of tobacco cessation counseling; there were cancer screenings. People were able to get old injuries looked at for the first time. And a lot of research showed that it saved lives."

ACA opponents believe the "individual mandate" - requiring people to have health insurance - is unconstitutional. They argue because a previous court struck down the mandate, the entire law should be repealed. The Supreme Court is expected to make its decision by next summer.

In addition to allowing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, Pugel said the ACA has had positive ripple effects on local economies.

"[Between] 45,000 and 50,000 jobs could be lost just by pulling that $3 billion in federal dollars out of our economy - some of those in healthcare, but also in other industries, like finance and construction," he said.

Pugel said eliminating the ACA would be especially problematic during the pandemic, when many people are getting sick or may have coronavirus complications that require long-term care.

"Having less uncompensated care because a lot of your patients are covered by Medicaid, definitely helped keep their doors open, and you know, could be the tipping point in a hospital's decision on whether or not to stay open," he said.

A 2019 University of Kentucky study found the number of Kentuckians who received colon cancer screenings after Medicaid expansion jumped by 230%, compared to before the ACA.

get more stories like this via email

A bill approved by Congress repeals the federal Defense of Marriage Act. That law, passed in 1996, prohibited the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Congress has signed off on a bill that preserves federal protections for same-sex and interracial marriages. A legal expert in Wisconsin says it …

Social Issues

Airport service workers rallied in Washington, D.C., Thursday to demand Congress pass legislation ensuring they receive a livable wage with stronger …

Social Issues

Before the pandemic, one in five people in Los Angeles County lacked consistent access to food - and in 2021, one in four low-income families …

According to the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the Peach State is sixth in the nation for public EV charging stations, at more than 1,500 outlets. (Michael Flippo/Adobe Stock)


Electric vehicles are an environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another, but the lack of charging stations often limits drivers to …

Social Issues

As Americans make end-of-year donations to their favorite causes, those that help children with cancer and their families say these households need …

The Farm Labor Organizing Committee was founded in 1968 to defend the rights and basic human dignity of farm workers regardless of immigration status. (Adobe Stock)


A labor union representing agricultural workers in Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia says it isn't waiting around for federal immigration reform to …

Social Issues

West Virginia's prison population has ballooned, and formerly incarcerated people face numerous obstacles when they are released. A Charleston-based …


As the year comes to a close, the Sierra Club of Connecticut is looking back on some of its accomplishments and challenges. The group focuses on …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021