Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Minority-owned Southern businesses get back on their feet post-pandemic with a fund's help; President Biden says don't panic over the new COVID variant; and eye doctors gauge the risk of dying from COVID.

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U.S. Senate is back in session with a long holiday to-do list that includes avoiding a government shutdown; negotiations to revive the Iran Nuclear Deal resume; and Jack Dorsey resigns as CEO of Twitter.

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South Dakota foster kids find homes with Native families; a conservative group wants oil and gas reform; rural Pennsylvania residents object to planes flying above tree tops; and poetry debuts to celebrate the land.

Consumers, Employers and Small Businesses Say Health Reform Needed

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Tuesday, June 15, 2021   

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Consumers, employers, and small business owners in Wyoming and across the U.S. agree that it's time to go big on health care reform, according to new polls.

Frederick Isasi, executive director of the nonprofit Families USA, said Americans are fed up with paying exorbitant prescription drug prices and a host of other abuses.

He argued the biggest barrier to reform is the consolidating power of the trillion-dollar health industry, with hundreds of lobbyists in Washington DC and state capitals.

"So this really is a David and Goliath moment," Isasi asserted. "Where these very monied interests are working the system they have always worked to try to stop elected officials from doing what the American people want. And so this is a moment where the American people really have to raise their voices."

The health sector spends more on lobbying than any other industry, but Isasi argued they represent a minority view. Among respondents, 75% of voters want President Joe Biden and Congress to rein in abuses this year, and 85% of the nation's executives said the government should play a bigger role in providing health coverage and containing costs, a move they believe will be better for business.

One in three small businesses said getting all employees' health coverage during COVID-19 was a priority, but costs were a prohibitive barrier.

Isasi noted the surveys showed minds are more open today about the need to secure the health of all members of the community, regardless of their backgrounds.

"And there has been, I think, an awakening to the role of immigrant communities, and vulnerable communities, as front-line workers keeping our economy going during the pandemic," Isasi remarked.

In Wyoming, one in ten children do not have health insurance, and 15% of nonelderly adults lack coverage.

Isasi contended no one should have to forego health care due to costs, or choose between filling a prescription and paying their rent or mortgage. He added the ball is now in Congress' court to ensure families never have to make those impossible decisions.


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