Is Your State a … Weakling?

Politico Magazine has tallied the numbers, and the Oscar for best state goes to … New Hampshire. Actually, the magazine’s ranking is pegged to a different winter event: the president’s annual State of the Union address. Here’s what Politico‘s Margaret Slattery has to say: Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America’s union is “strong.” Is it? One way to judge is by the state of the states of the union: How strong are they, and, …

Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Voter ID Law

Sometimes, if you fight very, very hard against injustice, you win. That’s what happened in Pennsylvania last week, where a court struck down the state’s voter ID law. As the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia described in its complaint and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania acknowledged in its opinion, the evidence of disenfranchisement is vast and the stories are compelling. The court found that “approximately 430,000 electors remain without compliant ID.”  That’s 4 percent of eligible Pennsylvania voters!  Just …

Should Elder Abusers Be Able to Inherit From Their Victims?

Say there’s an older adult - let’s call her Judy - who has difficulty caring for herself. Judy’s son, Charles, is her primary caretaker, but he abuses her, pinching her and refusing to give her dinner if she doesn’t stay quiet during his favorite TV show.  Judy’s doctor notices that she has bruises on her arms and is rapidly losing weight; she reports Charles to family services, and Charles is eventually convicted of felony abuse. After several months, Judy dies of unrelated …

States Step Up for Retirement Security

Are you saving (enough) for retirement? The numbers paint a worrisome picture – for Americans, our families and the nation. Three-quarters of Americans age 55-64 had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts as of 2010. And, more than 70 million American workers do not have any type of employer-sponsored retirement plan. Clearly, we need some help to get on the road to retirement savings – and more effective ways to save money for our future. This is where the …

Those Left Out of Medicaid Expansion Won’t Be Penalized … Or Insured

By Alvin Tran, Kaiser Health News Low-income Americans who live in states that have decided not to expand Medicaid eligibility will not face penalties if they fail to buy insurance next year. Discussion: 78 million consumers saved $3.4 billion on ACA-provisioned health insurance That’s according to a final rule on exemptions to the health law’s individual mandate – the law’s controversial requirement that most Americans have health coverage or pay a penalty in 2014. That rule was published Wednesday. The health …

Countdown to Care: Winners and Losers

In the mad rush to pass budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1, the health care of hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans is at stake – and time is running out.  As I write, only about half of the states have agreed to expand Medicaid, which will extend health coverage to residents who earn about $15,000 a year or less.  The closer we come to July 1, the greater the wins and harder the losses: Key Winners: 300,000 …