First, the Good News

1) National/California: Despite the Huntington Beach City Council’s decision to proceed with exploring the corporate privatization of the public library’s operations, there were many excellent interventions in the council’s hearings opposing the scheme. The LA Times reports that “Council members listened to three hours of public comments from 108 residents largely against the idea, and more than 600 emails submitted were almost all against privatization.” The full meeting is on YouTube and is well worth watching.

Opposition to the proposed move is overwhelming. One former 32-year veteran worker at the library wrote, “By voting to explore privatization options for our city’s beloved, award-winning public library, the tone-deaf conservatives on the Huntington Beach City Council have shown once again their true authoritarian colors. Despite receiving over 800 emails in opposition to the move and listening to 100 speakers object to privatization at the City Council meeting, the council voted 4-3 in favor of taking the next steps to outsource our library to profiteers…

“Their request-for proposal process is just a formality because the city for the past few months has been quietly exploring a proposal from private, for-profit Maryland-based Library Systems & Services, of which former Huntington Beach Mayor Mike Posey is a sales executive. If this deal is inked, Huntington Beach taxpayers would turn over their money to wealthy out-of-state investors who have no interest in our community.”

The Voice of OC reports that “a vast majority of residents who spoke during public comment were against both proposals, with the council nearly throwing multiple people out of the room for chanting ‘Shame!’ when the council majority approved the move. ‘I want the people removed now,’ said Councilman Tony Strickland right before a 5-minute recess was called after the audience outburst.”

“I don’t know what the terms of an outsourcing contract might be, but I do know that outsourced libraries are widely known for being a revolving door of workers,” Senior Youth Services Librarian Laura Jenkins told the OC Register. “Gone will be the days of the family librarian who grows with families as their children age. That to me is the biggest tragedy that will come with possible outsourcing.”

The controversy is unfolding against a backdrop of efforts to restrict the availability of library books for political and religious reasons. The Democratic Party of Orange County is opposing the measure. “The extremist majority on the Huntington Beach City Council is pushing ahead with their radical culture war instead of doing anything to actually help our community. Last night, the Council established a community review board with unchallengeable authority to decide which books are and are not ‘appropriate’ (by their standards) to be stocked in HB libraries’ children’s sections. Now, they’re actually considering privatizing public library operations altogether. Workers who have given their lives to serving the community face losing pay, benefits, even their jobs. Residents aren’t going to sit still for this. The resistance is forming including Huntington Beach Public Library supporters, labor, community groups, and Surf City residents! Protect Huntington Beach Orange Coast Huddle.”

The impact of privatization on intellectual freedom and the public interest has been an issue for decades. A quarter century ago, Patricia Glass Schuman summed it up in Library Journal: “A librarian employed by a corporation may have an ethical obligation to uphold free speech but may enjoy no legal protection when resisting censorship by his or her employer. Also, some private companies, anxious to renew their contracts, might be tempted to relax their commitment to intellectual freedom policies if it meant avoiding controversy and the possibility of nonrenewal. The potential for conflicts of interest is high. Imagine being forced to decide whether to provide badly needed—but expensive—services to homeless shelters when that will impact your employer’s profit margin, your performance appraisal, and your raise.”

2) National: An oldie but goody by Caleb Nichols: “Public-Private Partnerships Are Quietly Hollowing Out Our Public Libraries: Private companies contracted to ‘streamline’ public libraries are doing it at the cost of decent-paying union jobs.”

Nichols gets to the heart of the matter. “Instead of working toward maintaining or shrinking already miniscule budgets, local governments, armed with talking points and data from ALA-accredited librarians, should begin forcefully advocating for a significantly larger slice of the pie. Rather than selling libraries off to the highest bidder who promises to deliver more for less, let’s attack this problem at its root by taking away the weak point that LS&S is so great at exploiting—this public perception that public goods like libraries shouldn’t have large budgets. Follow the lead of public library advocacy groups like EveryLibrary and advocate for giving public libraries more money, and you take away the only real leverage LS&S has.”

There are alternative models out there in addition to adequately funding our libraries. For instance, yesterday the L.A. Report reported that “a small printer focused on Southern California stories was recently donated to the LA Public Library, a very loved and cherished institution within Los Angeles. We check in with Angel City Press a couple of months in at its new home. (…) City Librarian John Szabo says the focus will remain on telling unique LA stories. Angel City Press is both a small business, but it’s also a very loved and cherished institution within Los Angeles. Angel City was donated by its retiring co-founders, so the library did not pay for the small business, but it will receive profits from book sales. Szabo hopes sales are high enough to fund an expansion of offerings. Angel City Press has not done an e-book before, they’ve not published an e-audio book, and also they’ve never done a children’s book. The idea of doing something like that would be wonderful.” [Audio, about 13 minutes]

3) National: AFSCME President Lee Saunders joined the Axios podcast to discuss the state of public sector unionism. Saunders told Niala Boodhoo “We’ve got to talk with people and listen to what they’ve got to say and then urge them to organize so they can have that seat at the table. And we are, meaning AFSCME, because we’re organizing all over the country. We continue to organize in the public sector. We’re organizing in the cultural setting, meaning museums and zoos and libraries. We’re organizing in states where we have just gotten collective bargaining or they passed legislation to enable us to organize. That includes Colorado and Nevada.” [Audio, about 20 minutes]

4) National: Good Jobs First’s Deputy Executive Director Arlene Martínez gives us some examples of places that are practicing transparent economic development policies. “Economic development “impact reports” can be outrageous. Like when they assume people going to a basketball or hockey game will buy hotel rooms for $731 per night and parking spaces for $75. The Post’s story helped shed light on the rosy, unrealistic projections, and light is a vital part of good government ­­– especially in economic development, where puffy press releases and unsourced figures too often go unscrutinized. In honor of Sunshine Week, we’ve spent last week spotlighting the good ways places are being transparent when it comes to economic development and corporate accountability. They can do it – so can all our governments.”

5) National: “Why are we letting financial hucksters dictate our local news?” asks Jim Hightower. “Not only have hundreds of papers been eliminated, but half of the remaining dailies are now owned by Wall Street predators like Softbank, the Japanese hedge fund that controls the huge USA Today Gannett chain. Their interest is not in your town or quality journalism, but in slashing news coverage to jack up their profits. Such absentee owners have eliminated nearly 60% of America’s reporters and other newsroom staff in just 20 years. Let’s be clear. Real journalism is labor driven. (…) Are we such unimaginative clods that we can’t figure out how to finance honest, non-plutocratic news for our democracy? This is Jim Hightower saying, for ideas on how to revive local news in your town, contact rebuildlocalnews.org and give news democracy a boost.” [Video, 2 minutes]

6) Florida: Remember the major Surfside building collapse in Florida a few years ago that killed 98 people and set off an uproar about how local Florida officials were induced to ignore potentially fatal structural deficiencies in old buildings and keep them in service long after their useful life? Well state lawmakers have finally taken a step in the direction of removing legal obstacles to the replacement of old infrastructure.

7) Maryland: Union support is growing for a task force to scrutinize developer tax breaks, The Real News Network’s Stephen Janis and Taya Graham report. “AFSCME, which represents 45,000 government workers across the state, submitted written testimony supporting SB 733, Task Force to Study Transparency in Tax Incentives. The bill would authorize a state body to analyze a variety of tax incentives and subsidies that have been used extensively to lure developers to build across the state. ‘Tax incentives are a significant tool used by governments to promote economic development and attract investment. However, without proper oversight and transparency measures, there is a risk of misuse or ineffectiveness,’ the union wrote. ‘Establishing a task force will help ensure that tax incentives are administered accountability and in the best interest of the public.’”

8) Texas: The Texas Tribune’s Stephen Simpson reports that Texas’ libraries are working to bridge the state’s mental health services gap. “From the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin offering a mental health resources page to the San Antonio Public Library’s mental health awareness presentation on the signs of anxiety to a private telehealth room where patrons can meet with a counselor via Zoom in North Texas town of Pottsboro, these librarians do their best to help their communities with mental health resources. The National Library of Medicine’s South Central Region gave the Pottsboro Area Library a $20,000 COVID-19 outreach grant to develop programs to improve health literacy and information access related to the pandemic. In 2021, the American Library Association awarded the Hewitt Public Library a $3,000 grant to create community conversations about mental health.”

9) Think Tanks: What does it mean and what will it take to build a feminist economy? PowerSwitch Action’s Lauren Jacobs and Cindy Weisner of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance have answers. “We’re fighting for the FARE economy: the feminist anti-racist regenerative economy. All of those words are very deliberate and specific,” says Wiesner. “We need to understand racial and gender capitalism to its full extent; that means understanding how racism and gender oppression are the pillars that function to maintain capitalism. To counter that, we need a gender justice feminist analysis and a racial justice abolitionist analysis incorporated into the economy that we want to build.”

10) New Publications: Inside Climate News has launched a series of local bureaus, called ICN Local. You can get on the mailing list of your choice by emailing them at memberships AT insideclimatenews.org. Here are the bureaus: Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Midwest, Mountain West, Southeast, Southwest, West Coast.

11) Forthcoming book: This September, Josh Cowen’s The Privateers: How Billionaires Created a Culture War and Sold School Vouchers will be released by Harvard Education Press. “In The Privateers, Josh Cowen lays bare the surprising history of tax-funded school choice programs in the United States and warns of the dangers of education privatization. A former evaluator of state and local school voucher programs, Cowen demonstrates how, as such programs have expanded in the United States, so too has the evidence-informed case against them.”


12) National: In the Public Interest’s Executive Director Donald Cohen on Preaching—and Teaching—What They Practice: Discrimination. “What do they do with all these public dollars being bled from public schools? They preach—and practice—discrimination. Education Voters of Pennsylvania has pulled together a list of the ways voucher schools have discriminated in that state, and Illinois Families for Public Schools has done the same for Illinois—both make for bracing reading. But what’s true for Illinois and Pennsylvania is true across the country.” How so?

  • Voucher schools can—and do—discriminate against LGBTQ students.
  • Voucher schools can—and do—discriminate based on religion.
  • Voucher schools can—and do—discriminate against students requiring special education attention
  • Voucher supported schools can—and do—teach students that women should not have the same rights as men.

Jennifer Berkshire spoke with Rachel Laser of American United for the Separation of Church and State and two plaintiffs in a case challenging a religious charter school in Oklahoma. Religious Charter Schools are Coming. Be Worried. “Last year Oklahoma approved the nation’s first tax-payer funded religious charter school. It won’t be the last… As our guests explain, the school is part of a larger project to roll back the clock on civil rights, disability rights and labor protections. Now for the good news: tearing down the separation between church and state turns out to be really unpopular.” [Audio, about 40 minutes].

13) California: Authors Against Book Bans say, “while the CA state legislature took action with AB1078 last session to help ensure that school districts could not reject textbooks or school library books for discriminatory reasons, the passage of Ordinance 4318 [in Huntington Beach—ed.] shows that book bans are still alive and well in CA.” Others are weighing in. “As advocacy organizations that champion intellectual freedom, professional librarianship, & access to diverse materials without fear or favor, @EveryLibrary & @PENamerica are deeply troubled by proposed ordinance No. 4318 in Huntington Beach.”

14) Colorado: On the Unraveling Education podcast, Danielle Ford interviewed Mike DeGuire, who “was a principal in Denver, Colorado for 12 years, where he witnessed privatization agendas play out that led to half of the Denver School District being taken over by Charter Schools. As a researcher, public education advocate, and member of Advocates for Public Education Policy, he’s spent the last few years pushing for major changes to the Denver school district and the state of Colorado.” DeGuire tells Ford, ‘of those four years, I learned a ton. I became aware of the privatization agenda. I was floored by it. I went deep into researching it. As I was researching it, I was trying to inform people about it. I learned that there’s some people that know about it, but not a whole lot. It was really frustrating. As we were going, I was fighting back on everything. I would learn these are the companies that are doing X, Y, and Z, and then I would put it on the record.’” [Audio, about an hour]. Among the books discussed is Henig, Jacobsen and Reckhow’s Outside Money in School Board Elections: The Nationalization of Education Politics.

15) Florida: United Faculty of Florida (UFF) have written a powerful open letter regarding the recent removal of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) positions on behalf of UF Faculty and Graduate Assistants. “With the recent news that UF terminated 13 staff positions and halted DEI administrative assignments for another 15 faculty members, it’s clear that winning one-sided political arguments is more important to our state’s leaders than ensuring our students can benefit from a world-class higher education. UF must ensure that the staff they hired has the ability to retain employment. While Florida’s Governor seems to take a perverse joy in attacking diversity, equity and inclusion, the sentiment is not shared by your faculty or your graduate assistants, whether they are members of our union or not. We want to be clear: the action to terminate positions and halt assignments by UF goes against the core principles of United Faculty of Florida at UF, which traces its very origins to resistance against UF’s actions during the civil rights era.”

“Gov. DeSantis has created and pushed a narrative of division and hate that is anti-Black,” said Rev. Jeffrey Rumlin, pastor of The Dayspring Church in Jacksonville, where three Black people were gunned down at a Dollar General store [last August—ed.] by a white man with a swastika emblazoned on his assault rifle.”

16) Georgia: A $6,500 per pupil private school voucher bill has passed the state senate, and heads over to Gov. Kemp (R)’s desk, who is expected to sign it. “This bill is a thinly veiled effort to segregate and discriminate under the guise of choice,” said Sen. Nabilah Islam Parkes, a Democrat from Duluth. “Private institutions free to pick their students will inevitably leave behind those who perhaps need the most support -– our special needs students, our struggling learners.” It remains to be seen how rural Georgia schools will fare under the new law, since “more than 70 counties in the state don’t have private schools where you could send a kid to private school.”

17) Tennessee: AASA, the School Superintendents Association, says “last week, a mother with a child with disability testified against pending school voucher legislation in Tennessee. Watch this clip to see how her ability to utilize an ESA-voucher for her child turned out.”

18) Texas/National: Mimi Swartz has written a powerful in-depth piece in Texas Monthly on the right wing campaign to sabotage Texas schools. “The motivations for these attacks are myriad and sometimes opaque, but many opponents of public education share a common goal: privatizing public schools, in the same way activists have pushed, with varying results, for privatization of public utilities and the prison system. (…) In Texas, an unusual alliance of Democratic and rural Republican leaders has for decades held firm against voucher campaigns. The latter, of course, are all too aware that private schools aren’t available for most in their communities and that public schools employ many of their constituents. But the spread of far-right politics and the disruption of public schools during the pandemic created an opening for activists to sow discontent and, worse, chaos. ‘If they can make the public afraid of their public school, they will be more likely to support privatizing initiatives. Then that puts us back to where we used to be with segregation of public schools,’ says former Granbury school board member Chris Tackett, who, with his wife Mendi, has become an outspoken advocate for public education and a relentless investigator of the attempts to undermine it.”

19) Think Tanks: Legendary public school reform advocate Jonathan Kozol joined Ralph Nader on his podcast to discuss his latest book. Kozol is “a leading advocate for equality and racial justice in our nation’s schools, and he travels and lectures about educational inequality and racial injustice. Mr. Kozol is the author of nearly a dozen books about young children and their public schools, including Death at an Early Age (for which he received the National Book Award), Savage Inequalities, and The Shame of the Nation. His latest book is An End to Inequality: Breaking Down the Walls of Apartheid Education in America. I still give [Jonathan Kozol’s book Death at an Early Age] out to people to show them what indignant writing backed by irrefutable evidence is like. There’s too much cool writing in America today about ghastly situations.” [Audio, about a half hour].


20) National/New York: What happens when public housing goes private? In an episode of NPR’s Code Switch podcast, Fanta Kaba , who covers privatization of New York City Housing Authority buildings, digs into the issues. “The New York City Housing Authority is the biggest public housing program in the country. But with limited funding to address billions of dollars of outstanding repairs, NYCHA is turning to a controversial plan to change how public housing operates. Fanta Kaba of WNYC’s Radio Rookies brings the story of how this will affect residents and the future of housing, as a resident of a NYCHA complex in the Bronx herself.” [Audio, about 40 minutes]

21) National: Can the Air Force avoid the kind of disaster that befell the last military experiment with privatized housing? To do that, they are now looking to the Navy. “Specifically, Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force David Flosi told lawmakers March 20 that the service is tuned to the Navy’s Public Private Venture program, which Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy James Honea said has successfully housed unaccompanied sailors for more than 20 years.” Says Flosi, “We’re also learning to be more accountable through that process as well.” Time will tell, but it’s rather odd that the Navy seems to be building the plane as it’s flying it.

22) Arizona/National: Good article yesterday by guest columnist Alex Trimble Young of Arizona State University. Writing in the Arizona Republic, Trimble Young looks at a secretive group that is working on lawmakers to put public land in private hands. “To answer this question, voters need to follow the money. While the Bundy family may be the populist public face of the land transfer movement, in the years leading up to Bunkerville, the corporate-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) threw their substantial weight behind the land transfer movement, and they haven’t let up since. ALEC wants to orchestrate a privatization of public lands that would be an incalculable loss for the American people but an unparalleled windfall for multinational corporations. This organization, known for the lavish and secretive parties it throws for friendly lawmakers, has an especially extensive network within the Arizona GOP. It has provided legislators with dozens of model bills and resolutions promoting the land transfer agenda, including one that tracks quite closely to the language of HCM 2005.”

23) California: On The New York Times’ podcast The Daily, NYT reporter Conor Dougherty details what he found out about The Billionaires’ Secret Plan to Solve California’s Housing Crisis. “I mean, there’s a real irony here, which is that California forever thought that the best way to circumvent all of the normal screaming and yelling and community opposition and bureaucracy and NIMBYism of big city California was to escape to rural California and try to build a brand new model of housing and urban living there. And they ended up unleashing a different, but it sounds like no less fierce version of all those same forces just a couple hours outside the city.” [Audio, about a half hour].

24) Louisiana: Gov. Jeff Landry (R)’s Sewerage & Water Board New Orleans Task Force “appears poised to recommend a series of sweeping changes to the city’s beleaguered utility, including rate hikes on residents and businesses, as well as structural changes that could pave the way for privatization, among others. At their third and final public meeting Thursday morning, task force members offered suggestions on how to reform the S&WB, which has been under increased scrutiny regarding billing issues, outdated infrastructure and lagging pumping capabilities. (…) The Louisiana Illuminatorearlier today reported that Paul Rainwater, who works for Cornerstone Government Affairs, represents the city of New Orleans and four other agencies, including the Sewerage and Water Board, as a lobbyist before state government. Landry and S&WB executive director Ghassan Korban are reportedly not concerned about that issue.”

25) Michigan: “‘If it ain’t broke’: Does Ottawa County need to privatize well and septic inspections?” asks Mitchell Boatman of the Holland Sentinel. “Commissioners resumed discussions during a health and human services committee meeting Tuesday, March 19. During the meeting, Kevin Hoeve—a Holland realtor who serves on the West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors—spoke highly of the current system. He said representatives from WMLAR and Health Officer Adeline Hambley have previously spoken about the success of the collaboration. ‘For some 40 years, Ottawa County has had a workable program that we believe is an exemplary model because it simply works,’ Hoeve said. ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’”

26) Texas: Is Huntsville going to privatize its economic development program? “Kulhavy shared the different types of ED Organizations to the council, saying there are basically two structures—ED Corporations and Public-Private Partnerships. ‘We currently fund Economic Development through the General Fund, with the operating budget set at $288,668 and also have a Capital Improvement Project funding in the amount $200K,’ Kulhavy said. ‘We have drawn down from that a lot over the years for incentives.’ In FY 2023, Kulhavy noted that the city has the largest operating budget in its history just under $290K.”

Public Services

27) National/International: Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism has a great summary and analysis, building on recent work by the Financial Times, of public pensions behemoth CalPERS’ decision to pour more of its capital into private equity and private markets. Both Smith and the FT pan the decision and call its justifications into question. “I can’t recall a time where a top financial publication has taken to lobbying, hard, against an investment strategy that has boatloads of fund managers and professional hangers-on benefitting from its largesse. Yet the Financial Times has in the space of barely more than a week, published two pieces, one a very long and extremely well done FT Alphaville overview, from the early days of private equity to the present, with emphasis on how its returns have been falling, yet there are all sorts of pretenses that that isn’t happening. Then after reporting that CalPERS is planning to greatly increase its allocation to private assets, both private equity and private debt, the pink paper releases a story that says, bluntly, that this looks like a Bad Idea.”

Two key publications are “Is Private Equity Actually Worth It?,” by FT Alphaville’s Robin Wigglesworth; and of course  Eileen Appelbaum and Rosemary Batt’s book, Private Equity at Work: When Wall Street Manages Main Street.

28) National: Well look who’s complaining about the disgusting quality of federally contracted-for-profit food services at his lockup, the Federal Correctional Institution Miami. Why it’s the former Trump administration official who advocated “a whopping 82 percent tax break to attract private capital to infrastructure projects.” Let’s hope he’ll do better under the newly signed contract with JNS Foods LLC that begins next week. “The contract, valued at $48,852.14, was awarded on January 12, 2024 for the procurement of meals under the National Menu program at FCI Miami for the second quarter of fiscal year 2024. The details provided in the Award Notice indicate the goods or services to be delivered and the agency responsible for the contract.”

29) National: A new episode of the America Adapts podcast deals with “Life, Liberty and Climate Data: The Privatization of a Public Good.” Doug Parsons hosts Dr. Justin Mankin. “Justin is a climate scientist and associate professor at Dartmouth College. Doug and Justin discuss his provocative column in the New York Times on climate data accessibility—should tax funded climate data remain a public good. Justin also explains the intricacies of climate modeling and the ethical considerations of private sector involvement. Justin also emphasizes the significance of aligning private and public sector efforts for effective climate adaptation.” [Audio, about 53 minutes]. See Mankin’s New York Times op-ed, People Have a Right to Climate Data.”

30) National/International: Regulators need AI expertise but can’t afford it, according to Wired. “As governments spin up new AI programs, regulators around the world are urgently trying to hire AI experts. But some of the job ads are raising eyebrows and even chuckles among AI researchers and engineers for offering wages that, amid the current AI boom, look pitiful. (…) ‘There’s a brain drain happening across every government across the world,’ says Nolan Church, cofounder and CEO at FairComp, a company tracking salary data to help workers negotiate better pay. ‘Part of the reason why is that private companies not only have a better working environment, but also will offer significantly higher salaries.’ Church worries that competition between private companies will also widen the gap further between the private and public sector. ‘I personally believe the government should be attracting the best and the brightest,’ he says, ‘but how can you convince the best and the brightest to take a massive pay cut?’”

31) National: Writing in Counterpunch, Eve Ottenberg shines a light on the attack on the NLRB by major corporations. “Things are not great at Trader Joe’s either. The NLRB has accused the company of firing a pro-union worker, spreading lies to thwart organizing and illegally retaliating against its employees. According to an October 4 Fast Company reprint of a Capital & Main article, Trader Joe’s has ‘delivered threats, told people they wouldn’t get raises if they unionized.’ The article quotes the union’s communications director, Maeg Yosef: ‘Despite its progressive and folksy reputation, Yosef said, Trader Joe’s ‘has rolled out the sort of union-busting campaign you might see at Amazon or Starbucks.’ (…) Unlike SpaceX, Starbucks and Amazon, Trader Joe’s is not owned by a celebrity plutocrat. But its owner is still a billionaire, one that just hasn’t garnered as many headlines as the other three honchos”

32) National: What happened at the OSHA board meeting on Thursday? “Workers testified about the urgency of guidelines to protect people in indoor worksites from dangerous temperatures. Following testimony and protest, the members of the OSHA board approved the new standard unanimously.”

33) California/National: Who’s keeping up the pressure on ICE and the private prison companies that contract with it in detraining immigrants? La Resistencia, which held a rally on Saturday.

34) Tennessee: State lawmakers want more oversight of juvenile detention, but the Department of Children’s Services is pushing back. “Last year, an investigation by WPLN and ProPublica revealed that the Richard L. Bean Juvenile Service Center in Knoxville was illegally locking children alone in cells and that the facility had faced few consequences even as DCS repeatedly documented violations. In response, one Democratic and two Republican state lawmakers drafted proposed legislation that would give an independent state agency the power to require changes at facilities that violate state standards, effectively forcing DCS to act.”

35) International/United Kingdom: Want to see a National Health Service doctor? Be prepared to cough up your data, TechCrunch reports. “To get a doctor’s appointment in the U.K. these days, you have to entrust more of your data to private companies—and there’s not a great deal you can do about it. In part due to growing pressure from the government to meet a two-week limit for patient appointments, family doctors—or general practitioners (GPs) as they’re known in the U.K.—are turning to third-party software to facilitate appointments and prioritize cases based on urgency, a shift that has left patients with no option but to give private companies access to their personal data.”

All the Rest

36) National: Guess who’s trying to drum up government business in the Generative AI space, for instance in the military.

37) National: Writing in Forbes, Robert Pearl, M.D., looks at Private Equity And The Monopolization Of Medical Care. “These troubling trends for doctors have spelled “opportunity” for private equity firms, which entered the healthcare picture a little over a decade ago. From 2013 to 2016, private equity firms acquired 355 physician practices (many with hundreds of doctors). In the four years that followed, private equity acquired 578 additional physician practices. Those numbers continue to grow. To doctors, PE firms offer an attractive value proposition: promising to ease physician dissatisfaction by increasing income and reducing insurance hassles. In exchange, physicians agree to relinquish significant control of their practice. Once the deal is done, PE firms leverage that control to generate sizable profits.”

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