The WonkLine: April 20, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 10 a.m. roundup of the latest news about health care, the economy, national security, immigration and climate policy. This is what we’re reading. Tell us what you found in the comments section below. You can also follow The Wonk Room on Twitter.




Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is threatening that he will urge Latino voters to stay home this November if the Democratic Party does not make a concerted effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Jeffrey Conroy, the teenager accused of killing an Ecuadorean immigrant in a racially motivated attack, was convicted yesterday of manslaughter as a hate crime and acquitted of second-degree murder as a hate crime charge.

U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and John McCain (R-AZ) unveiled a 10-point enforcement-only immigration plan yesterday that includes demanding the deployment of 3,000 National Guardsmen to secure Arizona’s border.

National Security

Iraqis welcomed Tuesday the killing of al Qaeda’s top local leaders but said they were more concerned about the power cuts, lack of jobs and corruption that blight their daily lives. “I care more for public services than I care about these deaths,” government employee, Masri al-Dorra said.

“Police in northwestern Pakistan say two separate bomb explosions in the city of Peshawar have killed at least 23 people and wounded many others.”

“Hundreds of thousands of Israelis visited Israel’s national parks, forests and beaches on Tuesday, celebrating Independence Day.”

Health Care

“WellPoint and UnitedHealth Group, the nation’s two largest health insurers, said they will begin allowing the uninsured up to age 26 to join their parents’ health plan ahead of the Sept. 23 deadline to comply with a provision of new federal health reform law.”

“The Obama administration’s health care reforms would not be law without “corrupt deals” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cut to pass them against the will of most Americans, former New York GOP Gov. George Pataki said Monday.”

“Drug companies sharply raised prices last year, ahead of increased rebates they must pay to Medicaid and other expenses tied to the federal health overhaul passed last month.”

Climate Change

Killer coal company Massey Energy director Lady Barbara Thomas Judge “has resigned from the company’s board,” as Mine Safety and Health Administration Administrator Joe Main accused the company of using “legal loopholes to prevent the mine from showing a ‘pattern of violations.'”

In a letter to Senate colleagues, Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said they “strongly oppose” efforts to shift oil and natural gas royalties from the federal government to nearby states.

The severe fortnight-long heat wave in India “has killed at least 80 people so far in Orissa, where ” the state government directed all schools to close.”