“The right-wing has been organizing governors and state assemblies to oppose expansion of Medicaid at the state level. Twenty-five states, as of now, have rejected the Medicaid expansion. … The impact of this is that, generally speaking, any rejection of Medicaid is going to disproportionately hit people of color, because people of color are lagging behind in insurance coverage to begin with.”
– Interview with Brian Miller, executive director of United For a Fair Economy, on the right-wing organizing in 25 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.
GOP Governors Blocking Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion Exacerbate Racial Disparity in U.S. Health Care
Interview with Brian Miller, executive director of United for a Fair Economy, conducted by Scott Harris
This year’s holiday honoring the life and work of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. comes as a national debate is gathering momentum on how to address growing income inequality. Although Dr. King is widely known for his accomplishments on civil rights and his famous “I have a dream” speech, what many Americans don’t know is this American social justice champion was also a leader in supporting union rights, challenging corporate power and government policies that exacerbated poverty and economic inequality. King also took an uncompromising and controversial stand in opposition to the Vietnam War and Cold War militarism. Story continues
Interview with Mark Jacobson, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Because there has been almost no progress on addressing climate change in either national or international venues, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaked last week predicts that tackling the ever more catastrophic weather events occurring with increasing frequency will be much more costly than if action had been taken two decades or even two years ago. The report maintains that it’s too late in some cases for humans to adapt to these changes in climate. Story continues
Interview with Todd O’Boyle, program director for Media and Democracy at Common Cause, conducted by Scott Harris
In an action that could dramatically change the way millions of Americans access the Internet, a Washington D.C. appeals court threw out the Federal Communications Commission’s rules on the important principle known as Net Neutrality. The FCC regulations, invalidated by the court in a Jan. 14 ruling, had mandated an even playing field for all Internet users and content producers. Now, with these rules no longer in place, Internet service providers and giant telecommunications and cable companies like Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner can both block certain Internet websites and/or charge customers a premium to gain access to specific sites. These companies can now also slow down or speed up their customer’s access to streaming movies, software and other data, depending on the amount of money charged. Story continues
This week’s summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon
- In the days after Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan signed a harsh Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which makes it a crime to attend a meeting of a gay organization or belong to a gay social club, police in northern Nigeria are rounding up gay men. (“Nigeria gay arrests: dozens arrested and ‘we are on the hunt for them,” Associated Press, Jan. 14, 2014; “Nigerians applaud anti-gay law as Islamic court hands out 20 lashes,” Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 17, 2014; “Nigeria anti-gay laws: fears over new legislation,” BBC News, Jan. 14, 2014)
- Mother Jones magazine reports the popular Internet forum Reddit has become a marketplace to buy and sell assault rifles, high capacity magazines and other firearms. (“How Reddit became a gun market—and authorized its logo on assault rifles,” Mother Jones, Jan. 8, 2014)
- The Los Angeles City Council is debating a new proposal to raise wages at larger hotels to over $15 dollars an hour, but the proposal faces stiff opposition from hotel owners and the downtown LA business community who complain the law will force them to raise prices. (“LA expected soon to debate raising wage for hotel workers,” Los Angeles Times, Jan. 13, 2014)