Defend democracy in the South.

Economy

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.

Dorothy Brown on racism in the tax code

June 11, 2021 - The Emory law professor and author of "The Whiteness of Wealth" calls for returning to a progressive income taxation system and establishing a tax credit as compensation for systemic racism. She also argues that simply publishing tax data by race could make the public angry enough to want to change the federal tax system.

INSTITUTE INDEX: Debt relief is on the way for Black farmers

June 3, 2021 - Black farmers will start receiving their first payments this month under the Emergency Relief for Farmers of Color Act. Sponsored by Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia, it was part of the latest COVID-19 stimulus and has been called the most significant legislation for Black farmers since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But the Texas agriculture commissioner and former Trump adviser Stephen Miller are among those involved in lawsuits to halt the payments, arguing they're unfair to whites.