06-24-2018  11:18 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 ...

Teen uses sign language to help blind and deaf man on flight

BOSTON (AP) — A teenager is being credited with coming to the aid of a blind and deaf man during a flight from Boston to Portland, Oregon.Clara Daly, of Calabasas, California, says she and her mother were traveling last week when the flight attendants asked if anyone knew American Sign...

18-year-old driver dies after colliding with log truck

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State Police say an 18-year-old girl has died after colliding with a log truck on Highway 101 near Beaver.Law enforcement officials say Mikayla Michelle Howard was driving a 2003 Saab when it crossed into the other lane for an unknown reason on Friday morning....

New Mexico residents to testify on atomic bomb fallout

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a New Mexico Hispanic village near the site of the world's first atomic bomb test say they were long ignored about the lingering health effects and were expected to share their stories with Congress.The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium plans to...

Small plane hits car after missing runway near Snohomish

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (AP) — A small plane hit a car after overshooting the runway at an airfield near Snohomish.The Seattle Times reports that three people, including a child, were in a single-engine plane when it was approaching the Harvey Air Field on Saturday.Lt. Rick Hawkins of the Snohomish...

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

The Latest: Meek Mill debuts 'Stay Woke' song at BET Awards

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Latest on the 2018 BET Awards, which are being presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater (all times local):7:45 p.m.Rapper Meek Mill has performed a new song, "Stay Woke," on the BET Awards with a striking performance that touched on police violence against black youth...

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent, but the show included superior performances by rising singer H.E.R, rapper Meek Mill and gospel artist Yolanda Adams, who paid tribute to Anita Baker and nearly brought her to...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

ENTERTAINMENT

The Latest: Prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting

The Latest on the investigation into the business interests of Trump's longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen (all times local):8:30 p.m.Stormy Daniels' lawyer says the porn actress' meeting with federal prosecutors in New York who are investigating President Donald Trump's longtime lawyer has...

Complete list of winners at Sunday night's 2018 BET Awards

The complete list of winners of the 2018 BET Awards, presented Sunday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles:— Video of the year: Drake— Best male R&B/pop artist: Bruno Mars— Best female R&B/pop Artist: Beyonce— Best male hip hop artist: Kendrick Lamar—...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their investigation into President Donald Trump's longtime personal attorney, but the meeting was abruptly cancelled late Sunday after it was reported by news organizations, her attorney...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Anita Baker, H.E.R., Meek Mill shine at BET Awards

The 2018 BET Awards barely handed out any trophies with big stars like Cardi B, Drake and Kendrick Lamar absent,...

US prosecutors cancel Stormy Daniels meeting in Cohen probe

Porn actress Stormy Daniels was scheduled to meet with federal prosecutors in New York on Monday as part of their...

Thousands flee as flames race across dry rural California

CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. (AP) — Wind-driven wildfires destroyed buildings and threatened hundreds of others...

Saudi women in driver's seat as longstanding ban is lifted

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi women steered their way through busy city streets on Sunday, driving to...

Australia and Vanuatu to negotiate security treaty

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia said on Monday it would negotiate a security treaty with Vanuatu,...

Indonesia identifies likely location of ferry in crater lake

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has identified the suspected location of an overcrowded ferry that sank...

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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