Coroner, Pediatrician Warn That GOP Obamacare Replacement Would Devastate Ohio
A new analysis from the Brookings Institution finds that the GOP’s revised Obamacare replacement bill is likely to result in roughly the same coverage losses as the original bill and could even cause more people to lose coverage.
House Republicans on Monday night released an updated version of their bill, known as the American Health Care Act (AHCA), and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) quickly released documents showing that national debt will actually increase under the plan.
Here in Ohio, ProgressOhio hosted a press conference with Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz, Pediatrician Bill Cotton, and senior activist B.J. Talley who all spoke about the life and death impacts of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
See coverage from nbc4i here.
OSU Advances Plan to Privatize Energy Under 50-Year Deal
The Ohio State University’s energy assets could be privatized and managed by companies with headquarters as far away as Paris, Australia, and Canada. This follows the last major leasing of university assets, the 2012 parking deal that formed CampusParc, which connected an investment fund based in Australia with a Connecticut parking operator.
Ohio’s Covers Up Problems With Multi-Million Dollar Liquor Inventory System
Ohio replaced a 40-year-old computer system for tracking liquor sales and distribution two years ago at a cost of $21 million, with the promise that the system for running the state-controlled liquor business would be more accurate and reliable.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the new system has been “a disaster of inaccurate inventory data, unreliable purchasing orders and incorrect sales information.”
One medium-size distiller said it is owed $1 million, while another said it is out several hundred thousand dollars. JobsOhio, the state’s now privatized economic-development group, which leases the liquor business from the state, is aware of the problems and plans to spend an additional $19 million to fix them.
ProgressOhio caught wind of the problems about two years ago and filed public records requests seeking copies of complaints from businesses. The state initially said he had no such records (yes it did). Then state officials sent us a handful – but we’d already collected many more. Why all the lies? You can read our findings here.
Cincinnati Enquirer Asks This: A Donald Trump-Like Candidate for Governor?
Congressman Jim Renacci entered the race for Governor this week, prompting ideological and financial comparisons to Donald Trump. Renacci made his millions through ownership is nursing homes, car dealerships and teams in both arena football and minor league baseball. Speculations continue as to whether or not the lawsuits Renacci faced could impact his run.
Faced With Steady Parade of Bad Press, ECOT Hires Fake Journalist to Promote ECOT
When the facts aren’t on your side, but you have bottomless pockets, what do you do for PR? Create a fake news documentary. See Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow’s new low here.
High Praise For Richard Cordray and the Pro-Consumer Agency He Heads
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), led by Richard Cordray, works on many of the issues on which Donald Trump campaigned. But now the agency’s fate is uncertain.
The CFPB fights against payday lenders. In Ohio, the fees payday lenders can charge for short-term loans are now the highest in the nation.
Lenders avoided the law’s 28 percent loan interest rate cap by simply registering under different sections of state law that weren’t designed for payday loans. This allows them to gouge customers with an average 591 percent annual interest rate.
According to research by The Pew Charitable Trusts, low- and middle-income Ohioans who borrow $300 from a payday lender pay, accrue on average, $680 in interest and fees over a five-month period – the typical amount of time a borrower is in debt on what is supposed to be a two-week loan.
“Local community organizations know that when payday lenders start proliferating, that’s the sign of an unwell community,” said Nick Bourke, director of Pew’s small-dollar loans project, told The Columbus Dispatch.
Wage Hikes, Job Training Could Help Close Ohio’s Widening Income Inequality
The Columbus Dispatch released a special report on income inequality in the city of Columbus, and listed some options to fix the problem.
One option is the “Fight for $15” campaign which resulted in minimum-wage increases in at least 40 cities and states, many along the West Coast and in New York state.
But Columbus and other Ohio communities aren’t allowed to raise the minimum wage on their own.
In December, after an attempt to boost the minimum in Cleveland to $15 an hour, state legislators passed a bill that blocks cities from raising the wage floor higher than the state’s hourly rate, currently $8.15. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and hasn’t increased since 2009. Many in the GOP-ruled state legislature believe that people are poor by choice and block efforts to help the working poor.
Assuming the GOP-led legislature has no plans to give working Ohioans a raise, a state-wide ballot campaign is looking more like the only option.
Trump’s Labor Secretary Cut Sweetheart Deal With Billionaire Sex Offender
Remember Jeff Epstein, the billionaire sex offender accused of assaulting dozens of underage women? Donald Trump is on the witness list in a Florida court battle over how federal prosecutors handled these allegations.
The lawsuit questions why Trump’s nominee for labor secretary, former Miami U.S. attorney Alexander Acosta, whose Senate confirmation hearing began Wednesday morning, cut a non-prosecution deal with Epstein a decade ago rather than pursuing a federal indictment that Acosta’s staff had advocated.
Read more from the Washington Post here.
Trump’s Former Campaign Chair Received Secret Payments From Russia
Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort did not register as a foreign agent for the work he did in the mid-to-late-2000s. Willfully failing to register as a foreign agent is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
While the government rarely pursues criminal charges in these matters, Manafort did go through some lengths to conceal the work he was doing on behalf of Russia the AP reported.
PROGRESSIVE ACTION CALENDAR ALERTS
Statehouse Trump March Counter Protest • No ban, no wall, no raids!
Ohio’s National March Against Heroin – Portsmouth
Sunday, March 26th
Healthcare Town Hall – Hosted by LWV Cincinnati Area
Tuesday, March 28th
Lunch with Rob – Weekly Protest for Healthcare Cleveland
Thursday, March 30th
Dayton NARAL & PP Learn and Take Action Night