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Economy

INSTITUTE INDEX: How Entergy thwarted energy resilience in Louisiana

September 10, 2021 - Hurricane Ida's devastation of Louisiana's electric grid and the deadly power outages that resulted show the risk that highly centralized generation systems present in an era of increasingly destructive climate change-driven weather events. Yet Entergy — a Fortune 500 company that's the main power provider for the hard-hit southeastern part of the state, including New Orleans — has fought plans to move toward cleaner community-based generation. Will Ida mark a turning point?

Lawsuit targets HCA's hospital monopoly in Western North Carolina

September 1, 2021 - The same North Carolina law firm that successfully took on Smithfield Foods' hog farm pollution is now representing a group of plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit against Tennessee-based hospital company HCA, owner of Asheville's Mission Health System. The suit — which claims the company has monopolized the regional health care market in a way that's hurting patients and caregivers — comes amid heightened scrutiny of health care monopolies.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Remembering West Virginia's Battle of Blair Mountain at 100

August 27, 2021 - This Labor Day weekend, people will gather in West Virginia to mark the centennial of the Battle of Blair Mountain, the largest labor uprising in U.S. history. We look at what led to the bloody battle — when 10,000 Black, white, and immigrant coal miners joined together to fight for union rights against coal companies allied with corrupt law enforcement — and how it's being commemorated.

Working around Republican resistance on Medicaid expansion

July 1, 2021 - Over 2 million adults — including over half a million essential workers — fall into the Medicaid coverage gap in states that have refused to expand the program under the Affordable Care Act, and most are people of color living in the South. Congressional Democrats from Georgia and Texas recently unveiled plans to work around GOP-controlled legislatures' refusal to authorize broader Medicaid coverage even when facing a deadly pandemic.

Low-wage care workers rally for the American Jobs Plan

June 16, 2021 - Home care workers, most of whom are women of color, are among the most underpaid workers in the U.S., and the situation is especially dire in the low-wage South. In North Carolina, care workers recently rallied to call on federal lawmakers to support President Biden's American Jobs Plan, which would increase their pay and on-the-job protections.