Select Page

Author: ProPublic

Windfall for rich investors: Medical staffing firms cut doctor pay and now want bailout money

Medical staffing companies, some of which are owned by some of the country’s richest investors and have been cutting pay for doctors on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, are seeking government bailout money. Private equity firms have increasingly bought up doctors’ practices that contract with hospitals to staff emergency rooms and other departments. These staffing companies say the coronavirus pandemic is, counterintuitively, bad for business because most everyone who isn’t critically ill with COVID-19 is avoiding the ER. The companies have responded with pay cuts, reduced hours and furloughs for doctors. Emergency room visits across the country...

Read More

Corporate Payoffs: No accountability for the coronavirus bailout repeats the mistakes of 2008

In 2008, the first of the once-in-a-lifetime economic calamities of most of our lifetimes engulfed the country and the world. Now, just over a decade later, we get to experience the second. How well the country responded to the 2008 global financial crisis is still subject to debate. After the crisis peaked in September 2008 and the government intervened with various bailout programs, the financial system and corporate America stabilized. Corporate profits were rising again by the second half of 2009. Almost everything else is in dispute. Did the efforts to save the economy do enough to help average...

Read More

IRS admits targeting the poor because they are easier and cheaper to audit

The IRS audits the working poor at about the same rate as the wealthiest 1%. Now, in response to questions from a U.S. senator, the IRS has acknowledged that is true but professes it cannot change anything unless it is given more money. The disproportionate audit focus on lower-income families was reported in April. Lawmakers confronted IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig about the emphasis, citing our stories, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., asked Rettig for a plan to fix the imbalance. Rettig readily agreed. Last month, Rettig replied with a report, but it said the IRS has no plan and...

Read More

Students posing with guns at shot-up Emmett Till Memorial face Civil Rights investigation

Three University of Mississippi students have been suspended from their fraternity house and face possible investigation by the Department of Justice after posing with guns in front of a bullet-riddled sign honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till. One of the students posted a photo to his private Instagram account in March showing the trio in front of a roadside plaque commemorating the site where Till’s body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River. The 14-year-old black youth was tortured and murdered in August 1955. An all-white, all-male jury acquitted two white men accused of the slaying. The photo, which...

Read More

The State of American Values: A Border Patrol Agent shares experience of guarding migrant children

With the agency under fire for holding children in deplorable conditions and over racist and misogynistic Facebook posts, one agent speaks about what it is like to do his job. “Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.” The Border Patrol agent, a veteran with 13 years on the job, had been assigned to the agency’s detention center in McAllen, Texas, for close to a month when the team of court-appointed lawyers and doctors showed up one day at the end of June. Taking in the squalor, the stench of unwashed bodies, and the poor...

Read More

Border Patrol Agents found mocking care of migrant kids with unofficial commemorative coin

An unofficial commemorative coin has been circulating among Border Patrol agents at the U.S./Mexico border, mocking the task of caring for migrant children and other duties that have fallen to agents as families cross into the United States. On the front, the coin declares “KEEP THE CARAVANS COMING” under an image of a massive parade of people carrying a Honduran flag — a caricature of the “caravan” from last fall, which started in Honduras and attracted thousands of people as it moved north. While the caravan included many women and children, the only visible figures on the coin appear...

Read More