DOC SHORTAGE: The underpayment of doctors by government health care plans is driving doctors out of business in Vermont.

Doctors: Health care monopoly driving them out of business

By  |  July 23, 2014  |  No Comments

Single-payer advocates promise high-quality low-cost health care for all. But physicians in Vermont say the state’s move towards a single-payer health care system is driving independent doctors out of business and eliminating patient choice.

TWIN CITIES CAMPUSES TARGETED BY SEIU:  Adjunct faculty at 3 Twin Cities private college campuses were subject to organizing drives this summer with mixed results for the union. Photo by Mike Ekern, University of St. Thomas website.

MN private colleges split on SEIU professors’ union

Minnesota  |  4:00 am

Hamline University’s part-time professors in June voted decisively to join the Service Employees International Union. The momentum appeared to be with SEIU organizers, as the first private college campus in Minnesota to unionize adjunct professors quite possibly cleared way for an even bigger domino in July—the University of St. Thomas.

But the solidarity stopped there. When the National Labor Relations Board tallied the results of SEIU’s test at the University of St. Thomas on Monday, the union got a failing grade — 136-84.

SUBSIDING SUBSIDIES? A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that only residents in states with their own health care exchanges qualify for Obamacare subsidies. Pennsylvania is among the states without its own exchange.

Court ruling imperils Obamacare subsidies in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania  |  4:00 am

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit dealt a potentially devastating blow to Obamacare on Tuesday when it ruled that only those who enrolled via state-run exchanges qualified for federal subsidies.
Pennsylvania just happens to be one of the states without an exchange.
That means anyone in [...]

A NEW FRONTIER: While school vouchers give parents educational flexibility for their kids and save states money, education savings accounts can do both -- maybe better.

Massachusetts Senate kills charter school expansion

National  |  4:00 am

The 45,000 Massachusetts students on waiting lists to attend charter schools will continue waiting.

COMING TO NEW MEXICO FROM IDAHO:  Amy Dowd, the new executive director of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, comes highly recommended but she had to weather some controversy.

New health exchange boss in NM survived controversy in Idaho

New Mexico  |  4:00 am

Amy Dowd, the new executive director of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange, comes highly recommended but she had to weather some controversy.

obamacare

Obamacare court decision ‘potentially crushing’ for NM health exchange

New Mexico  |  1:48 pm

An appeals court decision puts Obamacare at risk and could be “potentially crushing” for New Mexicans who signed up for subsidies through the federal exchange.

Mary Burke

Will John Doe prosecutors launch lengthy probe against Trek Bicycle?

Wisconsin  |  12:42 pm

By M.D. Kittle | Wisconsin Reporter

MADISON, Wis. — The Republican Party of Wisconsin on Tuesday filed a formal complaint with the state’s election and campaign watchdog accusing Trek Bicycle Corp., owned by the family of Democrat gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

The GOP accuses Wisconsin-based Trek of using corporate dollars to aid and defend Burke’s campaign.

hud.gov

Nonprofit allegedly gets taxpayer grants after IRS revokes tax status

Florida  |  11:58 am

The executive director of a South Florida business group is accused of applying for government support as a nonprofit even after the IRS revoked the group’s tax-exempt status in 2010.

SEEING GREEN: In the last 10 years, Kansas law enforcement have split $6.3 million reaped from drug tax stamp laws.

Marijuana is law enforcement’s cash crop

Kansas  |  July 22, 2014

In Kansas, the War on Drugs is really just the war on marijuana.

At least, that’s the picture painted by the latest statistics from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

univ-north-dakota

University of North Dakota will continue debit card partnership despite ‘unconscionable’ activities

North Dakota  |  July 22, 2014

By Rob Port | Watchdog.org North Dakota Bureau
GRAND FORKS, N.D. — In 2009 the University of North Dakota decided, over protests from students, to partner with HigherOne to distribute excess financial aid dollars to students on debit cards.
Now a $15-million settlement of class=action lawsuit has one student leader saying “told you so” even as the school’s [...]

NOT ALL LOCAL: Jose Vanderburg of Seattle's 15 Now said he would work to bring a higher wage to LA.

Grassroots activism to raise L.A.’s minimum wage isn’t all local

California  |  July 22, 2014

A grassroots campaign to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour in Los Angeles reaches beyond city borders.

SPECIAL REPORT

VIDEOS

PLAIN ENGLISH: While Gov. Sam Brownback has been characterized as uncaring in his opposition to Obamacare, the governor says it's a simple matter of fiscal prudence for those who realize the federal government doesn't always keep its promises.

Video: Brownback states plainly why Medicaid expansion hurts Kansas

By  |  No Comments

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has been on the business end of numerous barbs and critiques for taking a stand against Obamacare and Medicaid expansion in the Sunflower State.

Those with unwavering faith in the federal government have characterized the conservative governor as an uncaring obstructionist for his opposition, but in an exclusive interview with the Daily Signal, Brownback laid out the argument against Obamacare in his own words.

little free library

Leawood throws the book at Little Free Library

By  |  No Comments

The city of Leawood is using the full power of the law to protect property values from the threat of, uh, free cabinet-sized libraries.

A municipal statute designed to ban all detached structures is being levied against Leawood residents Brian and Sarah Collins after their 9-year-old son, Spencer, worked with his dad and grandpa to build the Little Free Library as a Mother’s Day gift.

WATCHBLOG

 |  Virginia

By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – State Delegate Barbara Comstock is inflating her energy record to pump up her congressional bid.
The McLean Republican’s congressional campaign webpage declares that she “authored Virginia’s law to allow for offshore exploration of energy.”
In fact, Comstock’s “major legislation” did no such thing. Her 2010 bill, HB 900, [...]

Comstock goes overboard with offshore energy claim

 |  Texas

While taxpayers were picking up the tab for intensive, outpatient care for mentally ill patients, those patients were playing games and watching movies.

Medicare fraud: $97 million for mentally ill patients to watch movies, play games

By Josh Peterson | Watchdog.org
State public utilities regulators are calling for an easy way for consumers to compare complaints against the nation’s phone companies.
Currently, consumers can file complaints about their telecommunications service with the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission, but those complaints aren’t publicly available in an online format for consumers.
On Wednesday, Chris [...]

Regulators push for public database of complaints against phone companies

 |  Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania has saved almost $2 billion staving off welfare fraud, waste and abuse under Gov. Tom Corbett, said Beverly Mackereth, the secretary of the state’s Department of Public Welfare.

DPW chief: PA saves billions fighting welfare fraud

 |  Montana

By Dustin Hurst | Watchdog.org
For some, ignorance is bliss, but for Democrat Jon Tester, it’s an important campaign tactic.
Sure, the second-term senator from Montana isn’t up for re-election until 2018, but that won’t stop him from using disingenuous attacks on the wealthy to scare his constituents into sending him campaign cash.
“Today, it looks like the billionaire Koch [...]

Tester launches disingenuous attack on the Koch brothers

 |  Pennsylvania

With no debate and a nearly party-line vote, the state House passed a bill that eliminates a loophole in the law state defining the crime of stalking.

PA House approves ‘stalking’ bill

Section 7

FROM AROUND THE WEB

By Susan Ferrechio | Washington Examiner
The top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform panel is objecting to a plan to call the Internal Revenue Service commissioner to testify for a third time in a matter of weeks, calling it “public harassment of an agency head.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter Monday to Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., objecting to [...]

Top House Democrat calls for end of ‘harassment’ of IRS chief

By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog
In some respects, it’s now easier to fire teachers in California. In others, it’s more complicated.
That’s the verdict on AB 215, the version of several different firing reform bills that cleared the Legislature and received Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature late last month.
In the wake of the Miramonte Elementary School sex abuse scandal, [...]

California’s teacher firing reforms a mixed bag

By Washington Free Beacon staff
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., told NPR Hillary Clinton is “extremely vulnerable on her record.”
Asked how strong a candidate for president Clinton would be, Rubio said, “The truth of the matter is she was the secretary of state during an administration that has had virtually no successes on foreign policy.”
“She’ll have to [...]

Rubio: Clinton ‘extremely vulnerable on her record’

By Peter Suderman | Reason
Welcome to the age of endless regulation.
Four years after the passage of Dodd-Frank, the sweeping financial legislation championed by President Obama and passed by congressional Democrats in the wake of the 2009 financial crisis, just half of its rules and regulations are finished.According to law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, whichtracks [...]

Dodd-Frank and the age of endless regulation

By Steve Chapman | Reason
Living in a city that had 82 shootings over the Fourth of July weekend, Chicagoans could be forgiven for envying the residents of Indianapolis.
Imagine living in a place where homicides have been reduced by more than half in the past two decades, where robberies are less common than they’ve been in [...]

The truth about violence in Chicago

By Tom Gantert | Michigan Capitol Confidential
Amid all the publicity of the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy and bailout, the scramble to find money for road repairs and school superintendents who have spun funding increases as reductions, what may be lost is that the overall state budget is projected to increase by $2 billion in fiscal 2014-15.
In [...]

Michigan state budget jumps by $5 billion over 3 years

By James Poulos | Cal Watchdog
As California muddles ahead with its disorganized decriminalization of marijuana, local and federal lawmakers are adopting distinctly different approaches to the prospect of pot-related crime.
City councils are apt to worry about different kinds of drug crime than Congress. But the new attention from both ends of the political pecking order comes [...]

California, feds spar over marijuana regulation

By Lenore Skenazy | Reason
When I agreed to keynote the Reform Sex Offender Laws conference this week in Dallas, Texas, I didn’t expect it to hit quite so close to home.
But before I arrived, I got a phone call from a soft-spoken, super-articulate young man, Joshua Gravens, who is a Soros Justice Scholar based in Dallas. His specialty is the [...]

Man arrested for a sex crime because he made a scheduling error

By Susan Crabtree | Washington Examiner
Republicans are assailing President Obama‘s decision to attend two fundraisers in New York City Thursday night after 295 people perished when a Malaysian passenger jet crashed in Ukraine after an apparent rocket attack and Israel launched a ground war in Gaza the same day.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus took to Twitter to launch a broadside against Obama for going through with the fundraisers benefiting [...]

Republicans blast Obama for fundraising after jetliner crash in Ukraine