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this week in Tarbell

Appalachian health care systems certainly struggle with bloated costs, but would that justify cutting off patients’ ability to access to intensive medical services? Retired physician Dr. Raymond Feierabend considers the question, and who should be answering it, in his latest commentary.

Click Here to Read Dr. Feierabend’s Commentary – “Ballad Health System Consolidates Trauma Centers: Are They Saving Money or Cutting Off Patients?” – On Tarbell.org

 

Notable Investigations and Solutions

As dozens of major companies descend on Capitol Hill to lobby against heavy carbon taxes, Democrats are unwilling and afraid to get behind progressive, impactful climate change solutions.

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Joe Biden set out on his presidential campaign pledging not to take money from corporate lobbyists, among a slew of Democratic candidates. Flash forward five months, and he has taken more than any of his competitors.

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Now that FTC ordered to pay $170 million in penalties for YouTube’s violation of children’s privacy, lawmakers are coming to grips with how hard it is to push effective punishments on Big Tech.

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The air ambulance industry is joining a firm coalition of health care corporations that want to retain surprise medical billing, and ensure secrecy in hospital fees.

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The lightbulb industry cringed over Obama-era efficiency standards that would cut sales of the common bulb in favor of LED and other energy-efficient bulbs. Now after two years of lobbying the Trump administration, manufacturers effectively stopped the regulation from coming into effect.

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In a fascinating historical review, E&E News found that a former Bureau of Land Management leader was quietly selling off swaths of federal land while promising to retain the public status of the nation’s territories.

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Environmental groups are united in anger over a new EPA proposal to roll back regulations on methane emissions. But the new policy has driven a wedge between the biggest oil and gas companies.

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Though the narrative of opioid abuse often involves young and mid-aged adults who later turn to stronger drugs, older Americans risk addiction and dependence on opioid prescriptions too. The organization Aging In Place prepared an informative guide on how the opioid crisis impacts the elderly.

Click Here To See The Guide

A director of a centrist political think tank ponders how the Trump administration has simultaneously won hearts chanting “Drain the Swamp”, and then fails to repair ethical conflicts and flagrant corruption.

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The New York Times dropped their sponsorship of a conference called “Oil and Money” that features oil execs as keynote speakers. But the newspaper only admitted its “concern” after protesters flocked outside its office.

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Spotlight on Local Reporting

Kentucky placed some heavy bets on an effort to bring high-speed internet to the entire state. And when an Australian investment bank wanted $1.2 billion for the project, the state bent over backward to give it to them, even if the results have been null.

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The DSCC threw its support behind Colorado’s Gov. John Hickenloper, but state Democratic officials were disappointed with his moderate stance on Medicare For All and the Green New Deal. Turns out both he and the DSCC are accepting significant sums from fossil fuel and health interests.

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A former South Carolina governor’s initiative to prevent outside contractors is long dead:  state agencies paid more than a million dollars to lobbyists to push specific issues.

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A Texas state senator found a lucrative new business practice that’s earned him more than a million dollars: use influence to represent government entities, and rake in the legal fees.

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