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A few years ago, after more than two decades as a gynecologist taking care of low-income women in Texas, Lisa Hollier began to see something unexpected and disturbing. The number of maternal deaths -- women dying in pregnancy, childbirth or the first few postpartum weeks -- was spiking. The numbers were far above those in any other state -- in fact, they were not normal for any country in the developed world. Continue reading.
The governor is headed for a showdown with state lawmakers over felon voting rights.  Gov. Pete Ricketts vetoed a measure Thursday that restores the voting rights of felons immediately after they complete their sentences. Continue reading.
Hospitals nationwide are cutting jobs amid a whirlwind of financial pressures — and sharp fears about the direction Republicans will steer health care policy.  Just in the past month, hospitals in 10 states, from Kentucky to Minnesota to New Mexico, have made public plans for staff reductions. Continue reading.
State lawmakers are considering two bills that would lower the cost of prescription drugs in Maine by requiring state agencies to pay the same or lower prices than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.  The bills were submitted by Houlton Sen. Michael Carpenter, who said one of the bills, LD 655, “An Act to Lower the Price MaineCare Pays for Prescription Drugs,” requires the commissioner of Health and Human Services to negotiate the lowest price for all prescription drugs for programs under MaineCare, unless prohibited by federal law. The second bill, LD 652, “An Act to Provide Drug Price Relief,” would require state agencies to pay the same or lower price than the VA, which Carpenter said receives a discounted price on prescription drugs from drug manufacturers. Continue reading.
Los Angeles has some of the most expensive housing in the United States. The median price of a new home in the city is more than nine times median household income. That makes L.A. one of the 10 least affordable markets for homeowners in the world, let alone the nation. Renters are no better off. In 2015, the average rent in L.A. was $1,390 a unit, more than twice the national average. Continue reading.
More than 20 years ago, when Russell Foster was 19 and his girlfriend Amber was 15, Montana’s laws tore them apart, sending Russell to prison for four years for having sex with a minor.  Their story mostly has a happy ending. They reunited when Russell got out of prison. They’re married now, with four kids, and living in Glasgow, Montana. And last month, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, granted Russell clemency.  Continue reading.
Sexual assault victims will no longer need to prove that they physically fought back against their attackers in order for the incident to be characterized as rape after a new bill was signed into law in Maryland on Tuesday. Continue reading.
Because of a lab chemist's widespread criminal misconduct in analyzing drug samples, about 95% of 20,000 drug convictions in Massachusetts have been dismissed, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. Continue reading.
Upset that people with schizophrenia and other mental disorders have been put to death after murder convictions, lawmakers in a handful of states want to bar the use of the death penalty for people with a serious mental illness. Continue reading.
In an effort to reinforce that “Blue Lives Matter,” the Arizona Legislature and Gov. Doug Ducey have created tougher penalties for assaulting a police officer — even if the officer is off duty. Continue reading
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