September 18, 2013


IL: No Deal Is a Big Deal for Chicago…. The mayor did the right thing, so credit where credit is due, but the taxpayers can’t rely on his actions alone every time the city considers selling off public assets. The public needs to know that transparency and accountability are the law of the land, regardless of Mayor Emanuel’s — or any future mayor’s — change of heart, political calculations or individual judgments.  A group of Chicago alderman led by Roderick Sawyer is proposing the Privatization Transparency and Accountability Ordinance (PTAO) to ensure these principles are applied fully in every proposal to outsource public assets and services. The proposal would ensure that these deals are fully evaluated in public -to decide if a specific deal advances, or hurts, the city’s public interest over the long run.  Huffington Post

LA: Jindal looks to privatize elderly, developmentally disabled health care. Gov. Bobby Jindal has begun work on privatizing the last big chunk of health-care programs still being run by state government. His aides are setting up the process of hiring private concerns to manage programs that care for the elderly and developmentally disabled. It’s the last major group of programs still directly under the $7 billion-plus state Medicaid program, which provides health insurance for roughly a quarter of Louisiana’s population. The Advocate

LA: Anxiety ‘unbelievable’ for employees at Pineville’s Huey P. Long Hospital ….“Their anxiety is unbelievable,” said state Rep. Herbert Dixon, D-Alexandria. “Huey P. Long closing is going to be a major transition for us. Hopefully this (cooperative endeavor) agreement is going to be one that continues health care for all our citizens.” The state has announced plans to close the charity hospital, shifting services provided there to three clinics to be operated under a cooperative endeavor plan with Christus St. Frances Cabrini Hospital and Rapides Regional Medical Center, both in Alexandria.  Alexandria Town Talk

OH: Privatizing Cincinnati’s Retirement System — A Bad Deal for Retirees….The ironically named Cincinnatians for Pension Reform, the people behind the ballot initiative to degrade city workers’ pensions, is a group of tea party leaders from outside Cincinnati and Ohio (Paul Jacob, the president of the Liberty Initiative Fund is one). We’ve seen this before and we’ll see it again, privatizers and the wealthy 1 percent elite trying to force the middle class to gamble their economic security in retirement on the roulette wheel of the stock market.  Huffington Post

WI: Plain Talk: Whatever happened to the public good?… But now the tea party core wants to “privatize” everything so that government can be starved. Let’s sell off state property, Gov. Walker and the Legislature say. Let’s promote private schools. Let’s make museums and parks pay for themselves by privatizing their operations. But once you starve government, the less it can do for the “public good.” When schools decay and public services deteriorate, it’s the middle and lower classes who suffer. Instead of everyone pitching in based on their ability to pay, the wealthy can buy their own services and the hell with everyone else.  Capital Times

People Who Get Rich Privatizing Academia Explain Why it’s a Good Idea. Weill Cornell Medical College last week accepted $100 million from the Weill Family Foundation to help “translate research breakthroughs into innovative treatments and therapies for patients.” More precisely: A college dean who also served on the board of a big-pharma firm while it defrauded Medicaid, bribed physicians, promoted off-label use of anti-psychotics and sent a library full of FDA regulations out with the garbage allowed one of the subprime mortgage crisis’s chief engineers to buy $100 million worth of the school.  PolicyShop (blog)

Diane Ravitch’s new book takes education myths to task. If I were to create art to decorate the cover of Diane Ravitch’s new book Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools, it would include an illustration of Diane Ravitch, sledgehammer in hand, smashing a brick wall with the words “Education Reform.” We would see bricks falling down with words on them such as Race to the Top, Arne Duncan, NCLB, vouchers, Gates Foundation and standardized assessments.  DesMoines Register