The WonkLine: June 17, 2010

Welcome to The WonkLine, a daily 9:30 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.



According to the best-case scenario calculated by Moody’s Economy.com, the BP oil spill “is projected to cost the Gulf region’s five states more than 16,000 jobs and $1.15 billion from the area’s gross domestic product.”

US banks will pay about $2 billion in the second quarter to pay for a UK tax on bankers bonuses, “a charge that could significantly reduce earnings at financial groups.”

European Union governments and regulators “swung behind the idea of publishing detailed results of stress tests on the bloc’s banking sector Thursday, bringing support for the idea close to critical mass.”


Yesterday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it “will realign its duties to promote criminal investigations over immigrant deportation” to “re-brand” ICE and shift focus away from the agency’s immigration work.

Corrections Corporation of America, the largest contractor for ICE, has reached an initial agreement “to soften confinement, free of charge” at several immigrant detention facilities in an effort to make them “less prison-like.”

Sacramento City Council voted to “place economic sanctions against Arizona companies,” joining a growing list of groups protesting the state’s harsh immigration laws.

Climate Change

President Obama “did talk about climate and his concerns about the climate and I basically told him that I’m not in favor nor could I support a national energy tax or a cap-and-trade proposal,” Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) told reporters after meeting with the president yesterday at the White House, but he will get a chance to play hoops with Obama.

“Dolphins and sharks are showing up in surprisingly shallow water off Florida beaches,” like forest animals fleeing a fire, and “birds covered in oil are crawling deep into marshes, never to be seen again,” as scientists question the effectiveness of dispersants.

Heat waves have struck Florida and Kuwait as a tropical depression forms off Mexico.

Health Care

“Hospitals, academic medical centers and schools that educate primary-care doctors and allied professionals can apply for $250 million in new grants that were announced Wednesday through the federal Prevention and Public Health Fund.”

“Some 46.3 million people nationwide were uninsured last year, while 58.5 million people lacked coverage for at least part of the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

“A new Associated Press-GfK poll finds public support for President Barack Obama’s new health care law has risen to its highest point. The nation remains divided, with 45 percent in favor and 42 percent opposed to the president’s signature domestic accomplishment.”