06-21-2018  2:33 pm      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

AG Rosenblum Seeks Info from Oregonians

Oregon Attorney General seeks information on children separated from families at border ...

Community Forum: How Does Law Enforcement Interact With Vulnerable Populations?

Forum will focus on public safety and examine mental health and addiction issues ...

King County Council Recognizes Juneteenth

The Metropolitan King County Council recognizes a true 'freedom day' in the United States ...

Unite Oregon Hosts ‘Mourn Pray Love, and Take Action’ June 20

Community is invited to gather at Terry Schrunk Plaza at 6 p.m. on World Refugee Day ...

MRG Foundation Announces Spring 2018 Grantees

Recipients include Oregon DACA Coalition, Kúkátónón Children’s African Dance Troupe, Komemma Cultural Protection Association ...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington and more than a half-dozen other states said Thursday that they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy of separating immigrant families illegally entering the United States.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement Thursday...

Researchers to study why seabird species is disappearing

CANNON BEACH, Ore. (AP) — The tufted puffins population at Haystack Rock in Oregon's Cannon Beach is steadily declining, and no one knows why.Federal wildlife officials will study the low count of the seabird with a ,000 donation from the Friends of Haystack Rock, the Daily Astorian...

Washington, other states plan to sue over family separations

SEATAC, Wash. (AP) — Washington and more than a half-dozen other states said Thursday that they plan to sue the Trump administration over a policy of separating immigrant families illegally entering the United States.Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson made the announcement Thursday...

APNewsBreak: Schools mum on ties to doc in sex abuse inquiry

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A now-dead doctor accused of sexual misconduct by former student athletes at Ohio State University said he acted as a team physician at other universities, most of which won't say if they are reviewing those connections or whether any concerns were raised about him.Ohio...

OPINION

How Washington’s 'School Achievement Index' Became School Spending Index

New assessment categorizes schools not by quality of education, but level of funding officials believe they should receive ...

Black Mamas Are Dying. We Can Stop It.

Congresswoman Robin Kelly plans to improve access to culturally-competent care with the MOMMA Act ...

Hey, Elected Officials: No More Chicken Dinners...We Need Policy

Jeffrey Boney says many elected officials who visit the Black community only during the election season get a pass for doing nothing ...

Juneteenth: Freedom's Promise Still Denied

Juneteenth is a celebration of the de facto end of slavery, but the proliferation of incarceration keeps liberation unfulfilled ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past, consensual relationship with an employee.Intel said Thursday that the relationship was in violation of the company's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Spokesman...

3 men face hate crimes charges in Minnesota mosque bombing

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A grand jury has added civil rights and hate crimes violations to charges three Illinois men face in the bombing of a mosque in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington.Federal prosecutors announced the new five-count indictment Thursday against 47-year-old Michael Hari,...

Governor orders probe of abuse claims by immigrant children

WASHINGTON (AP) — Virginia's governor ordered state officials Thursday to investigate abuse claims by children at an immigration detention facility who said they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete...

ENTERTAINMENT

AP PHOTOS: Toasts, kisses and laughs at Clooney AFI gala

LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Clooney, this is your life.The American Film Institute hosted a star-studded gala earlier this month to honor the Oscar-winner's achievements as an actor, director and activist. The evening kicked off with a video message from former President Barack Obama, and...

Mike Colter brings the pain as the indestructible Luke Cage

ATLANTA (AP) — "Black Panther" broke box office records, but "Luke Cage" once crashed Netflix.The streaming service suffered a massive outage for more than two hours in 2016, one day after the premiere of "Luke Cage," a drama-action series starring Mike Colter who plays the show's superhero...

Directors Guild says industry is still mostly white and male

NEW YORK (AP) — A new study by the Directors Guild of America finds that despite high-profile releases like "Get Out" and "Wonder Woman," film directors remained overwhelmingly white and male among the movies released last year.The DGA examined all 651 feature films released theatrically in...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Salah, Neymar, Messi, messy, messy: World Cup stars stifled

SARANSK, Russia (AP) — With nagging injuries, heavy marking from opponents and some simply uninspired play,...

Intel CEO out after consensual relationship with employee

NEW YORK (AP) — Intel CEO Brian Krzanich resigned after the company learned of what it called a past,...

The Latest: Kate Spade's father dies on eve of her funeral

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Latest on funeral services for fashion designer Kate Spade (all times...

Libyan coast guard rescues over 520 Europe-bound migrants

CAIRO (AP) — Libya's coast guard has rescued three groups of more than 520 African migrants, including at...

Switzerland, Serbia coaches don't want to talk about Kosovo

KALININGRAD, Russia (AP) — The coaches of Serbia and Switzerland only want to talk about football, not...

Trump jabbed first, and now world hits back in trade fight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States attacked first, imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from around the...

Greg Mathis

Most Americans have felt the sting of rising health care costs at one point or another. Those most affected, however, by skyrocketing medical fees, pricey prescription drugs and expensive insurance premiums are society's most vulnerable: children and seniors.

Federal and state governments have collectively and individually introduced legislation intended to make health care more accessible, but confusion in the federal legislation and lack of funding for state proposals will prevent these initiatives from making a big enough impact. A national health plan is needed to ensure that America's most fragile citizens are protected.

Nov. 15 marked the beginning of the new Medicare prescription drug plan. Instead of being excited about the change and the seemingly vast amount of options to them, eligible senior citizens are confused. The plan is expected to cost over $700 billion over the next 10 years and is the largest expansion of Medicare in the past 40 years.

Medicare offsets much of the cost of the new drug plans, which are administered by insurance companies. Before deciding on one of the several dozen plans available, seniors must first figure out which plans work with other state and federal assistance programs. Then, they have to decide which plans their local pharmacist is registered with.

When all these factors are considered, many are learning they don't have much choice at all. Seniors have until May to enroll in a plan; if they miss the deadline, they'll have to pay a late-enrollment penalty, adding deadline pressure to an already confusing and stressful selection process.

The change in Medicare's prescription drug plan isn't the only health care-related reform happening in the country. Gov. Rod Blagojevich, D-Ill., has introduced his All Kids plan, which makes affordable insurance available to the children of working parents. The legislation would make insurance available to about 125,000 children across the state.

In Massachusetts, the Legislature is negotiating competing plans to cover all of the state's half-million uninsured residents. Oklahoma recently started to enroll small companies and their employees in a program that would offset insurance premiums for company-paid health insurance; they expect the plan would cover 50,000 to 70,000 people.

While the state plans are encouraging, it's simply not enough. Reform has to begin at the national level.

People of color have a lot at stake here. The vast majority of Black children and seniors are un- or under-insured. By advocating for a comprehensive, nationally funded health plan, we can ensure that our community's most valuable resources — our youth and our elders — are cared for.

The poor state of America's health care system directly affects the African American community; for us, making sure the system is reformed is, literally, a matter of life and death.

If you're a senior and you need help figuring out the new Medicare drug program, call 1-800-633-4227 or visit medicare.gov.

Judge Greg Mathis is chair of the Rainbow PUSH-Excel Board and a board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

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