Author Archive

Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.
Health & Human Services

How a Ballot Initiative to Expand Medicaid in Utah May Be Denied

Republican lawmakers don’t want to fully implement a ballot initiative passed in November. One health-care advocate called it “trampling on … representative democracy.”

Public Safety

A Year After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico Finally Knows How Many People Died

A new, definitive study from George Washington University finds that almost 3,000 people lost their lives—and highlights the government’s failures before and after the storm.

Management

Researchers Are Still Counting the Dead From Hurricane Maria

The newest estimate based on administrative data suggests over 1,100 people were killed by the 2017 storm and its fallout.

Health & Human Services

What Virginia's Vote Means for the Future of Medicaid Expansion

With state legislators deciding this week to extend the program to 400,000 citizens, the drawn-out battle over Obamacare’s signature provision draws nearer to an end.

Health & Human Services

The Troubled Future for State Medicaid Expansion

The Affordable Care Act’s extension of public insurance to poor adults might finally make its way into every state. But those inroads could come with a cost.

Management

An End to Gerrymandering in Ohio?

A bipartisan compromise that just passed the state Senate would require minority-party support for political maps, and would limit the number of communities that could be splintered.

Infrastructure

The Peril of Privatizing Puerto Rico's Power Company

Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced a plan Monday to sell off Prepa, a move he hopes will ease the island’s energy and debt crises. But some groups on the island oppose the measure fiercely.

Management

Virginia Is for Second Chances

Under Governor Terry McAuliffe, Virginia embarked on a campaign to grant clemency more often, and to restore the civil rights of convicted felons.

Health & Human Services

Wisconsin's Welfare Overhaul Is Almost Complete

The Trump administration could soon approve a proposal from Governor Scott Walker to drug test food-stamp recipients.

Management

How Alabama's Election Laws Keep Moore on the Ballot

After multiple allegations of sexual assault and harassment of minors against Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, a complicated set of elections laws and rules is being used to keep his hat in the ring.

Health & Human Services

Puerto Rico's Dire Health-Care Crisis

Over a month after Hurricane Maria, citizens are still facing limited access to medical help and the increasing threat of illness.

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Management

What's the Real Goal of Trump's Voter-Fraud Commission?

A conversation with Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, one of three Democrats advising the president on “election integrity.”

Health & Human Services

The Senate's Health Bill Is Still Unaffordable for Poor People

The Congressional Budget Office finds that while the upper chamber’s plan is more generous and stable than the AHCA, it leaves about as many low-income people without coverage.

Health & Human Services

The New AHCA Cuts Medicaid Funding More Deeply

A draft version of the Senate bill released Thursday shows even deeper cuts to the program than the House version.

Health & Human Services

Five Involuntary Manslaughter Charges in the Flint Water Crisis

Michigan Health Director Nick Lyon and four other officials are accused of failing to act on a Legionnaires' disease outbreak associated with the city’s lead-poisoning problems.

Management

North Carolina's Voter ID Law Is Defeated, For Now

The Supreme Court declined to review the law that lower courts found to be discriminatory, but made no judgment on the merits of the policy.

Health & Human Services

The Historical Exclusion Behind the Puerto Rico Bankruptcy Crisis

Congress could help the territory by simply funding its Medicaid system the way they fund the states.

Management

How Voter ID Laws Discriminate

A new comprehensive study finds evidence that strict voting laws do suppress the ballot along racial lines.

Management

In the Battle Over Voting Rights, What Happens Next?

Court challenges to redistricting in North Carolina and Wisconsin could bring national changes in elections.

Management

California Extends the Ballot to Jails

Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to allow some incarcerated people with felonies to vote reflects a growing national challenge to felony disenfranchisement.