April 9, 2015


Jeb Bush Calls for Privatizing Elements of Veterans Health Care…. The effort to privatize elements of the VA system is a priority of the Koch brothers-backed group, Concerned Veterans for America, which in February called for creating a “premium-support private insurance option” for current veterans and limiting eligibility requirements for future veterans. Mr. Bush becomes the third 2016 GOP contender – following Mr. Paul and Marco Rubio of Florida – to support a system of vouchers to replace or compete with the VA health care system, which experienced intense criticism last year when an internal audit revealed that VA employees falsified reports of patient wait times at facilities across the country. Wall Street Journal ($)

Opinion: Private Infrastructure Projects Are a Wealth Transfer From the Public to Wall Street…..Fundamentally, our political leaders cut taxes rather than investing in our competitiveness. And they want to make up for this refusal by fantasizing that giving our public assets to Wall Street firms will solve the problem. The costs and the benefits of building roads and bridges and airports are much greater than the fees the public is willing to pay to use it. So if you wait for private investors to invest in public goods, you never get the public goods New York Times

British MD: Privatization Compromises Health Care Ethics. A year spent working as a doctor in India taught British National Health Service worker Hannah Fox “how a publicly funded healthcare system creates an optimal environment for ethical decision-making,” especially in end-of-life care. Truthdig

TX: Federal study: Trinity Tollway will increase traffic on most adjacent roads. It is going to be very difficult for those shilling the Trinity Toll Road to fall back on the argument they have rallied behind over the past months, namely, that the Trinity Toll Road is an act of gratuitous social justice because it better connects southern Dallas commuters to jobs in the north of the city. The Dallas Morning News reports that a federal traffic study shows that while the Trinity Toll Road will reduce some congestion in the Mixmaster, it will also increase traffic on other major highways, making it more difficult to commute from parts of southern Dallas. D Magazine

DE: Delaware charter school audits under scrutiny. In the wake of bombshell allegations that the co-leaders of a charter school made thousands of dollars in personal purchases on school credit cards, some lawmakers want the state auditor’s office to run charter audits to make sure taxpayer money isn’t being misused…..Williams said the legislation was spurred by revelations late last year that the co-leaders of Family Foundations Academy, a charter school in New Castle, had used school credit cards to make more than $94,000 in personal purchases for things like car payments, furniture, flowers and fine watches.   The News Journal


LA: Kenner’s solution to lagging city playgrounds: privatization

Kenner officials are moving to turn over some municipal playgrounds to private operators, and to eliminate restrictions on where children may join teams based on where they live. The initiatives are a reaction of declining participation in Kenner’s youth sports leagues. NOLA.com