Tribune News Service
Newsfeatures Budget for Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Updated at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 UTC).
Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT.
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^Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez dangles 2020 endorsement: Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren?<
OCASIOCORTEZ-ENDORSEMENT:LA — Two of the best-known women in Democratic politics had just recorded a video to upbraid Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez started bantering about the final episode of "Game of Thrones." Their riff bemoaning the show's anti-feminist finale was caught on tape, slapped up on Twitter, and in a flash drew almost 2 million viewers.
Most every time Warren and Ocasio-Cortez have teamed up of late — for lunch, legislative matters and video messaging — they have drawn millions of eyeballs.
They have also raised eyebrows.
Warren fans wonder whether — and hope that — Ocasio-Cortez may eventually endorse the Massachusetts senator in her bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
But the freshman House member, a superstar of the progressive movement, has more history with Warren's leading rival for progressive votes in the 2020 Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
1450 by Janet Hook in Washington. MOVED
^Leatherback sea turtles likely to go extinct under Trump administration policy, lawsuit argues<
ENV-LEATHERBACK-SEATURTLES:WA — Leatherback sea turtles are likely to be "effectively extinct within 20 years" if two new federal permits for fishing off the coast of California go into effect, environmental groups claim in a new lawsuit.
In April, the Trump administration granted new two-year "exempted fishing permits" to two California-based vessels in what are currently protected waters.
This type of experimental permit is "the only way we can improve the fisheries," said Kathleen Fosmark, co-chair of the Alliance of Communities for Sustainable Fisheries.
Environmental groups argue, however, that the fishing permits are using a loophole to allow the controversial fishing practice known as longline fishing in the protected Pacific Leatherback Conservation Area.
750 by Emily Cadei in Washington. MOVED
^Bernie Sanders' South Carolina campaign looks different this time. Is it different enough to win?<
SANDERS-SC:WA — Pauline Brown said she nearly broke down in tears when U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders walked through her front door last month. Her longtime partner, Eugene Smith, said he stood in disbelief.
They'd had little success getting South Carolina leaders to pay attention to the dirty water in their city of Denmark, so they never expected anyone running for president to show up to see for himself.
"A presidential candidate that comes to your house to see how you're living, I just couldn't believe it," Smith told The State newspaper. "It meant a whole lot to both of us. For over 10 years, nobody believed us. It was astounding to him."
On his May 18 trip to Denmark — where fewer than 4,000 people live in rural Bamberg County — Sanders moved on from his visit with Brown and Smith to speak at a larger campaign event.
Sanders' outreach signals a more aggressive campaign style than the one South Carolinians saw in 2016, when Hillary Clinton crushed him in the state's Democratic primary and became the party's nominee.
1600 (with trims) by Emma Dumain and Maayan Schechter in Washington. MOVED
^Analysis: A health care overhaul could kill 2 million jobs, and that's OK<
^HEALTHCARE-INDUSTRY-ANALYSIS:KHN—<As calls for radical health reform grow louder, many on the right, in the center and in the health care industry are arguing that proposals like "Medicare for All" would cause economic ruin, decimating a sector that represents nearly 20% of our economy.
While exploring a presidential run, former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz called Medicare for All "not American," adding, "What industry are we going to abolish next — the coffee industry?" He said that it would "wipe out the insurance industry."
A fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute wrote that it would "carpet bomb the industry." David Wichmann, the chief executive of UnitedHealth Group, warned that it "would surely have a severe impact on the economy and jobs."
It's true: Any significant reform would require major realignment of the health care sector, which is now the biggest employer in at least a dozen states. Most hospitals and specialists would probably lose money. Some, like the middlemen who negotiate drug prices, could be eliminated. That would mean job losses in the millions.
1150 by Elisabeth Rosenthal. MOVED
^After 2 deaths and a series of medical errors, the for-profit owner of Conn. hospitals faces major sanctions<
FORPROFIT-HOSPITALS:HC — Medical regulators and community members were concerned when Prospect Medical Holdings Inc., a Los Angeles-based, for-profit hospital chain, applied for approval in 2015 to buy Waterbury, Manchester and Rockville hospitals.
Some of Prospect's hospitals in California had been sanctioned for medical errors, and Waterbury Hospital, which was losing money and suffering from one of the state's highest rates of patient readmission rates, was already struggling to serve its large Medicaid population. Prospect fired back, touting annual earnings of over $3 billion, and saying its ability to attract prominent doctors to its hospitals was a winning formula. The sale was approved in July 2016.
Now, with state-mandated conditions on community engagement and accountability set to expire in October, and the company facing sanctions for a series of lapses in health care, doubts about Prospect's capacity and commitment are deepening.
1650 by Josh Kovner in Hartford, Conn. MOVED
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