March 28, 2014


Charter-boosters’ ugly civil rights scam. Corporate education reformers are coopting the politics of race and labor, author Micah Uetricht explains.  Salon

‘Private Option’ for Medicaid Expansion Would Cut Some Benefits. . . At issue are so-called “wraparound” benefits, such as free rides to doctor’s offices, designed to give low-income people the same kind of care and health outcomes as people with higher incomes. Such benefits typically are not included in private insurance plans. “Medicaid is different from private insurance for a lot of good reasons,” said Joan Alker, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families. “Trying to make it look like private insurance without Medicaid’s unique features could lead to worse health outcomes, increased hospitalization and more preventable deaths.”. . . Other benefits include the periodic screening, diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults for conditions such as lead poisoning, malnutrition and mental illness, as well as limits on co-pays and premiums, which can prompt people to do without care. Stateline

NY: State reaches tentative deal to protect charter schools. Cuomo and legislative leaders reached a tentative deal Thursday on a package that will offer charter schools greater protections – increasing per pupil spending and providing rent money for the first time. New York Daily News

FL: Editorial: Hear out the toll road skeptics…. The idea is pushed by a consortium of private companies known as Florida 54 Express. It wants to lease state right of way so it can build and operate an east-west 33-mile elevated toll road from U.S. 19 to U.S. 301. Steinman dubbed it a high-level concept with few details. There is no technical data, no engineering study, no traffic and revenue projection. That is why he suggested community opposition is premature. But what is known should give the DOT and the county reason to pause. The private suitors, International Infrastructure Partners and OHL Infrastructure, are expected to provide detailed information to the DOT next month. The state should be careful in its review to avoid a repeat of past performance. OHL’s toll road in Madrid, Spain, recently entered bankruptcy proceedings after high construction costs and falling traffic counts triggered unexpected financial difficulties, according to international press accounts. Tampa Bay Times

KY: Kentucky Senate Approves Measure Creating Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructure Projects. A bill that would permit private corporations to partner with government to finance infrastructure projects is one step closer to becoming law. Filed by Rep. Leslie Combs, House Bill 407 passed the Senate by a 27-9 vote, and would allow local governments to partner with businesses to fund infrastructure projects. Dissenting members worried that the legislation would afford private companies too much influence on public projects, and expressed concern over accountability of the process. WKU Public Radio