Food desert: Engaging in Jackson’s food system

November 20, 2017, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- For brandon king of Cooperation Jackson’s Freedom Farms, growing food is a form of activism.king, who spells his name in all lowercase letters, moved to Jackson from New York City nearly four years ago to join a local movement grounded in economic justice and given life with the 2013 mayoral election of Chokwe Lumumba, the late father of the current mayor. king hadn’t farmed before, but in a time of transformation for the capital city, Jackson was like a blank canvas. Especially west Jackson, where the cooperative is headquartered and where grocery stores are few and far between.“I was always from the standpoint of pushing against and fighting against things, to come down here and see people engaged in building the things that we want to see. We needed food so it was like, ‘OK, so who’s going to farm?’ I said, ‘OK, I guess it’s going to be me,’” king said.

GOP senator: ObamaCare fix could be in funding bill

November 20, 2017, The Hill, Peter Sullivan- Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) expressed optimism about a bipartisan effort to stabilize ObamaCare markets, saying his bill could be included in the upcoming funding package if it had President Trump’s blessing. “I think if the president supports it, it’ll be a part of the end-of-the-year package,” Alexander told CNBC in an interview published Monday. Alexander has been pushing for his bill with Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), which would fund key ObamaCare payments for two years in exchange for added flexibility for states to change ObamaCare rules.The end-of-the-year package, with multiple measures likely to be attached to a government funding bill, could provide a vehicle.

White House Open to Dropping Obamacare Mandate Repeal in Tax Plan

November 19, 2017, Bloomberg, Ros Krasny and Ben Brody- A The White House wouldn’t oppose removing from the Senate tax plan a controversial provision to repeal the individual health-care mandate of the Affordable Care Act, budget director Mick Mulvaney said, a move that could help secure the vote of key Republicans.The provision could be dropped if it becomes “an impediment,” Mulvaney, head of the Office of Management and Budget, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If we can repeal part of Obamacare as part of a tax bill and have a tax bill that is still a good tax bill that can pass, that’s great,” he said. “If it becomes an impediment to getting the best tax bill we can, then we’re OK with taking it out.”

BILL CRAWFORD: Stark health needs get little attention from state leaders

November 19, 2017, Daily Journal, Bill Crawford- Have Mississippi leaders become so accustomed to bottom national rankings that they don’t care anymore? Mississippi has ranked among the bottom three since 1990. You know it’s bad when the Mississippi State Department of Health posts on its web site, “Mississippi ranks last, or close to last, in almost every leading health outcome.” The stats are stark.Mississippi has the worst rate for infant mortality and ranks in the bottom three in death rates for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, septicemia, flu/pneumonia, kidney disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Will Cutting the Health Mandate Pay for Tax Cuts? Not Necessarily

November 19, 2017, The New York Times, Kate Zernike and Abby Goodnough-
Alexia Manon Senior is 27 and healthy - the type of person who might be most tempted to forgo health insurance if Republicans enact a tax bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that most Americans have coverage or pay a penalty.But Ms. Manon Senior, a graduate student in Miami, said she would hold tight to her coverage, at least as long as she keeps getting nearly $5,000 a year in government subsidies to pay for most of it. “The reason why I’m currently in the A.C.A. is not because I want to avoid the tax penalty,” she said. “It’s because of the ‘What if?’ If something happens and I leave the hospital with a $10,000 bill, it’s a lot of money that I don’t have.”

Surviving ‘food apartheid’ in Mississippi’s capital

November 19, 2017, The Clarion-Ledger, Anna Wolfe- Patricia Aaron flips through a large black binder containing the text from her persuasive speech class, important bits highlighted in yellow, as she waits for lunch to begin at Stewpot’s community kitchen in downtown Jackson. The 54-year-old Hinds Community College student thinks about the food at her house - a few pieces of chicken, kidney beans, grits - and how long it’s going to last. It’s Friday now; the food might make it through the weekend, but Aaron doesn’t get more in food stamps until Wednesday. “I don’t worry about that day until it gets here,” Aaron said. She has plans to collect cans around her neighborhood Saturday, which could earn her a few bucks, hopefully enough for a meal and some dog food for her pup Chip.