Politics

Open thread for night owls: Court dumps worker suit over Alabama's ban on local minimum wage laws

Izzy Kapnick at Courthouse News writes—Full 11th Circuit Tosses Fight Over Alabama Wage Limits:

The en banc 11th Circuit on Friday struck down two workers’ challenge to an Alabama law that forbids cities and counties from raising the minimum wage.

A 7-5 majority ruled that the plaintiff workers did not have standing to sue the Alabama Attorney General’s Office over the 2016 law, which prohibits local governments from raising the minimum wage beyond what’s required under state or federal law.

According to the majority opinion, the workers were barking up the wrong tree by naming the attorney general as a defendant, in part because the law at issue does not give him express enforcement authority. The workers did not show that their damages from lower wages were directly tied to the Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Circuit Judge Kevin Newsom wrote for the majority.

The Alabama legal saga has played out amid mounting tension nationwide between progressive wage policy advocates and state legislatures that have sought to prevent local control of employment law. According to a July report from National Employment Law Project, an employee rights advocate, at least 12 cities and counties stretching from Florida to Wisconsin passed local minimum wage laws only to have them invalidated by state laws. […]

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At Daily Kos on this date in 2008—Our Broken Health System: It’s Not Just About Insurance:

As part of a comprehensive reform plan, we’re going to have to figure out a way to get and keep more doctors in primary care. Insuring the un- and under-insured is absolutely critical, but providing insurance doesn’t do you a helluva lot of good for people who don’t have any doctor to accept it.  

Among the issues that must be addressed are 1) the huge costs of medical education; 2) the significant pay differential between primary and specialty care; and 3) reduction in overhead costs for family practitioners, meaning a reduction in bureaucracy and paperwork. Consider this, from the Statesman story about Roser:

At the University of Washington medical school, which has a special program to take in some Idaho students, 87 percent of graduates are in debt. The median debt was $105,202 in 2006, according to a study published by the university.

Being a specialist helps pay off that debt the fastest. A new primary care doctor initially earns about $130,000 to $150,000 a year, compared with $250,000 to $500,000 a year for newly minted specialists, Patmas said.

Getting the insurance companies to the negotiating table is going to be challenging enough. Getting the AMA and the nation’s medical schools to agree to take a hard look at both compensation and at pushing a course of study in primary care is going to another big ol’ ball of wax, but one that has to be dealt with to fix this system.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: A little GunFAIL for old times’ sake. Oh, and impeachment! Surprise! Ukraine still hasn’t gotten all its aid. OMB’s excuses don’t actually work. Was Leahy actually worse for the judiciary than conservative Dems? The day a Nazi came to Barefootgardener’s town.

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