Wealthy Doctors’ PAC, ‘I.V. League’ Help Tate Reeves Lead in Campaign Donations

August 5, 2019, Jackson Free Press, Ashely Pittman - With one day left before state primary elections, Mississippi Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has raised millions of dollars more in incoming donations for his bid to become Mississippi governor than his closest challenger, Bill Waller Jr. Wealthy donors and corporate PACs, including those who oppose Medicaid expansion to insure more Mississippians, have helped him raise more than $5 million so far this year. The Mississippi Medical Political Action Committee donated $20,000 to Reeves, who is the only candidate in the governor’s race who does not support some form of Medicaid expansion, which could bring health-care access to around 300,000 Mississippians. The PAC’s website shows that it is made up of “physicians from across the Mississippi and their spouses.” The MMPAC touts the mission of its “I.V. League” of donors of actively supporting “pro-medicine candidates and public policy to “advance physician-friendly and patient-driven legislation.” The PAC has endorsed anti-expansion candidates in the past, including Reeves and current Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant.

Mississippi governor race guide: Everything you need to know about the candidates and issues

August 5, 2019, The Clarion Ledger, Luke Ramseth - Want to know where a candidate for governor stands on the issues? We’ve got you covered.  In recent months the Clarion Ledger interviewed the six leading contenders - three Democrats and three Republicans - on issues including Medicaid expansion, their proposals for fixing the state’s roads and bridges, their plans to increase teacher pay and more.  Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for Mississippi’s statewide primaries. Go here to find your voting precinct. Below are links to stories and videos on the candidates and in-depth reports on where they stand on several key issues.

Increased federal funding for partial Medicaid expansion on hold as federal case ruling looms

August 5, 2019, The Daily Journal, Bethany Blankley - With a decision looming in the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Trump administration announced it will not increase funding for any state seeking partial Medicaid expansion. The lawsuit against the ACA, led by 18 attorneys general, requests the court to throw out the entire health care act on the grounds that it is unconstitutional. Earlier this year, attempts were made by some states to partially expand Medicaid. Utah requested the federal government pay 90 percent of the partial expansion costs, keeping the state’s share at 10 percent. But the Trump administration declined and Utah will instead be responsible for 30 percent of costs. The Washington Post reported that “White House advisers argued that it did not make sense to approve generous federal funding under the ACA while the administration is arguing that the entire law should be overturned,” the Washington Post reported.

Back-to-Back Outbreaks of Gun Violence in El Paso and Dayton Stun Country

August 4, 2019, New York Times, Campbell Robertson, Julie Bosman and Mitch Smith - On Sunday, Americans woke up to news of a shooting rampage in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio, where a man wearing body armor shot and killed nine people, including his own sister. Hours earlier, a 21-year-old with a rifle entered a Walmart in El Paso and killed 20 people. In a country that has become nearly numb to men with guns opening fire in schools, at concerts and in churches, the back-to-back bursts of gun violence in less than 24 hours were enough to leave the public stunned and shaken. The shootings ground the 2020 presidential campaign to a halt, reignited a debate on gun control and called into question the increasingly angry words directed at immigrants on the southern border in recent weeks by right-wing pundits and President Trump.

Charity becomes a lifeline even for Americans with health insurance as deductibles soar

August 4, 2019, Los Angeles Times, Noam N. Levey - “I’m scared, Mommy,” Bo Macan protested. Bo, who is 9, was trying to be brave as a nurse probed his bare chest with a needle, seeking a surgically implanted port below his skin where she could attach an IV line for his weekly antibiotic. “It hurts. It hurts! Please make it stop,” Bo pleaded, clutching his mother’s hand more frantically with each push from the needle. Taking care of Bo - who was born with a unique combination of complex illnesses that have required 53 surgeries and more than 800 days in the hospital - is a full-time job for Carolyn Macan.

Racism has devastating effects on children’s health, pediatricians warn

August 1, 2019, The Washington Post, William Wan - The nation’s largest group of pediatricians warned this week that racism can have devastating long-term effects on children’s health. A policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics is the first it has issued to its members on the dangers of racism. Doctors involved in the report saidthe current political and cultural atmosphere makes the work more urgent. “If you look at what’s in the news today, in social media, on Twitter, there’s so much kids are exposed to,” said Jackie Douge, a pediatrician with the Howard County Health Department who co-wrote the statement. “As much as you want to keep it in the background, it’s not in the background. It’s having direct health effects on kids.”