News Releases

“Preying on the Dying”


In a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Preying on the Dying: Private Equity Gets Rich in Hospice Care, researchers provide evidence that in the last two decades, a growing number of private equity firms have exploited gaping holes in oversight and regulation of the hospice care industry.

The report finds that “loopholes built into the payment model used by [the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS)] provide incentives for for-profit hospice agencies to game the system, legally stealing money from Medicare while degrading the quality of patient care. These loopholes create incentives for financial actors such as private equity to target hospice providers for buyouts. Lax and fragmented oversight facilitates consolidation of hospice agencies into large chains in this fragmented industry… Compared to for-profit providers, private equity owners have even more incentives to game the system because they must service debt and deliver on their promise of outsized returns to their investors. Too often, gaming the system spills over into fraud––charging Medicare for services that were not provided or illegally enrolling ineligible patients.”

EILEEN APPELBAUM;, @EileenAppelbaum
    Appelbaum is a co-author on the report and co-director of CEPR.

Appelbaum told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “The privatization of the hospice industry started in around 2000. Private equity entered [the sector] a little later.” Now, “most nonprofits have been bought out––mostly by publicly traded organizations and some by private equity.” Unfortunately, though the Federal Trade Commission “automatically reviews acquisitions of over $110 million,” because most hospice deals “fall under that price threshold… there’s no review by antitrust agencies.” Appelbaum said that the “FTC needs to think about how to examine these smaller acquisitions. They need to look at what this does to competition.”

Ultimately, however, Appelbaum said that “CMS should be in charge of oversight. They are the ones who are ultimately responsible for enforcing the [rules] that already exist.” Right now, CMS pays a flat per diem reimbursement rate for hospice patients. In recent years, private equity-owned hospice firms have relied on enrolling more patients with dementia, who typically require less medical care and attention and tend to live for more than six months, compared to higher-cost patients with end-stage cancers or heart conditions. Privately owned hospices “cannot take patients being released from the hospital, because they’re very expensive to care for. They end up in [nonprofit] organizations who are overloaded with expensive patients.” Appelbaum urged CMS to “pay more for patients with higher acuity,” rather than a flat fee.

Appelbaum said she and her co-authors were “shocked” by the lack of regulation. “Our takeaway is that private equity can exploit this system. CMS is so deficient in how it regulates hospice.”

Attacks on Gaza “Cynical Move” by Netanyahu; Part of “Ongoing” Nakba


The UN Security Council is set to meet Wednesday afternoon regarding Israel.

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law. His books include Palestine, Palestinians and International Law and World Politics, Human Rights and International Law. See relevant past IPA news releases. Boyle was an early advocate of divestment/disinvestment in Israel.

STEFANIE FOX,, @jvplive

Fox is executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace which is joining with American Muslims for Palestine and other groups to protest Israeli policies at a rally at the Mall in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, May 14 at 1 p.m — “Nakba at 75.” See listing of protests around the U.S. by the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights.

JVP issued the following statement: “We are grieving and enraged by the Israeli government’s assault on Palestinians in Gaza … that killed at least 15 Palestinians, including 4 children. …

“As Palestinians in Gaza slept, the Israeli military led an aerial bombardment of the densely populated cities of Gaza, breaking a tenuous ceasefire.” Then, “the Israeli military led an incursion into the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, reportedly injuring over 145 Palestinians, including 12 people who were shot with live fire. Our hearts break in the face of this latest round of Israeli escalation and violence.

“It’s been less than one year since Israel’s horrific three-day assault on Gaza last August, when the military killed over 49 Palestinians, including 17 children. These brutal attacks are not part of a ‘conflict’. They are one of the world’s largest militaries bombarding 2 million Palestinians trapped under a suffocating blockade.”

The attacks “are a clear and cynical move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attempt to save his own political career and unify his crumbling far-right and extremist government behind the drums of war. The Israeli government is proving that, as always, it awards no value to Palestinian lives.”

Fox noted: “In just under one week, Palestinians will mark 75 years since the Nakba — the catastrophe, in Arabic.” The recent attacks we are witnessing “are a cruel reminder that the Nakba is not just a historical event, but an ongoing structure of violence and ethnic cleansing. American Jews are waking up, and we must join in solidarity with Palestinians in their struggle for liberation.”

See from Haaretz, a major Israeli newspaper: “Gaza Assassinations Were All About Israeli Politics.” The paper writes: “Now that Ben-Gvir’s threat to the coalition has been lifted, we can only hope that Netanyahu will not be drawn into a lengthy conflict in the hope of suppressing the protest against him and ensuring the coalition’s survival.”

Shireen Abu Akleh was killed by the Israeli military on May 11, 2022, a year ago Thursday. See from The Intercept: “Israeli Forces Deliberately Killed Palestinian American Journalist, Report Shows.”

British Monarch’s Anti-Catholic Pledge



Fr. Mc Manus is founder and president of the Irish National Caucus. He said today: “The coronation of King Charles and the words of the oath he swore — solemnly, formally, and as King — raises anew the issue of state-sponsored anti-Catholicism in the UK and Northern Ireland. The Guardian in a 2001 editorial highlighted this issue, describing ‘the basis for the modern-day monarchy — an act of parliament which explicitly discriminates against Catholics.'”

Charles said while kneeling before clergy: “I Charles do solemnly and sincerely in the presence of God profess, testify, and declare that I am a faithful Protestant, and that I will, according to the true intent of the enactments which secure the Protestant succession to the Throne, uphold and maintain the said enactments to the best of my powers according to law.” See video.

Mc Manus added: “If the sectarian words of the King’s oath don’t mean much to the average person, their anti-Catholic resonance mean everything to a significant number of extreme Orange/Protestant/Unionist supremacists in Northern Ireland.” But he added, it was not the the Irish Protestants “who created Northern Ireland, but the London Parliament by its ‘Partition Act’ (December 23, 1920), with the assent of the King of England, George VI, the grandfather of King Charles.”

In his piece in the Irish Echo, “Don’t mention anti-Catholicism in the North,” Mc Manus wrote: “In the early 80s, I launched a cam­paign to expose the constitutional foun­dation of anti-Catholicism in Ireland: The Act of Settlement, 1701 — the foun­dation stone of the Royal Family.

“This act still today forbids a Catholic from being the monarch. It’s like having a provision in the U.S. Constitution bar­ring a black person from being presi­dent.”

See IPA news release from 2017: “DUP Deal Highlights British Anti-Catholicism, Threatens Peace in Ireland.”

Mass Shooters are Disproportionately Military Vets


DAVID SWANSON,, @davidcnswanson
Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is the director of World BEYOND War, a global nonviolent movement to end war and establish a just and sustainable peace.

He said today: “Of course statistically virtually all veterans are not mass shooters, because very few people are mass shooters. But disproportionately mass shooters are veterans — at least 36 percent last time I reviewed the data. If we are going to take an interest in other demographic trends regarding this tiny group of people — their gender, mental health, criminal records, racist ideologies — we can take an interest in the fact that our tax dollars trained many of them to shoot. We can also notice that many non-veteran mass shooters dress, speak, and act — in the commission of their crime — as if they are participating in a military. There is a structural problem in training so many people to kill — including the recent killer on a New York subway — and a cultural problem in glorifying it. I’m looking at you, Hollywood.”

How Shadow War Over Ukraine Nearly Triggered Nuclear Holocaust


A drone attack on the Kremlin on Wednesday again highlights the possibility of cataclysmic escalation resulting from the Ukraine conflict.

Bamford recently wrote the piece “The Most Dangerous Game: How Shadow War Over Ukraine Nearly Triggered Nuclear Holocaust” in The Nation, which summarizes Bamford’s findings: “Unnoticed among the trove of documents in the Pentagon leak is this account of how a miscommunication between a Russian pilot and his base came perilously close to starting World War III.”

Bamford has written extensively about the NSA and espionage. His latest book is Spyfail: Foreign Spies, Moles, Saboteurs, and the Collapse of America’s Counterintelligence.

Bamford also recently wrote the piece “The Trump Campaign’s Collusion With Israel” which Sam Husseini of IPA questioned the State Department about during Wednesday’s briefing, see video.

Bamford’s most recent report gives specifics regarding when tensions were especially high last September: “According to a Pentagon document marked SECRET/NOFORN (allegedly leaked by Airman Jack Teixeira on a Discord group chat), as the British RC-135W entered the airspace above the Black Sea that September morning, a pair of Russian SU-27 fighters scrambled skyward to shadow him. Then, responding to an order from his command center (likely Belbek Airbase on Crimea) a Russian pilot launched a missile directly at the NATO reconnaissance jet packed with 30 or more Royal Air Force personnel. In that moment, the Russian fighter pilot came very close to igniting World War III.”

But, Bamford reports: “The only thing that saved the dozens of British crew members from what the secret U.S. documents called a ‘near shoot down’ was a technical glitch that caused the missile to miss its target.”

Concludes Bamford: “The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline, Russia’s nearly shooting down a British spy plane, the secret and growing involvement of US and NATO troops on the battlefield — these are all clear warnings that very bad things can happen very quickly. The only realistic solution is to replace the intelligence agents with intelligent diplomats as quickly as possible, and to then work out a speedy cease-fire and a negotiated settlement to the war. In a conflict between nuclear powers, that should have been the first step, rather than the last.”

John Roberts Has “Failed to Protect the Integrity of the Supreme Court”


LISA GRAVES, via Becky Timmons, @itstruenorth
Graves is executive director of the watchdog group True North Research. They just released a statement on how John Roberts has failed to protect the integrity of the Supreme Court.

The group notes that Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the need for clear and enforceable ethical rules for the U.S. Supreme Court. This hearing was spurred by in-depth news stories revealing numerous failures by members of the Supreme Court to comply with even minimal rules for disclosure and other ethics standards.

Graves — who oversaw reviews of the financial disclosures of federal judges as a senior advisor in all three branches of government — said: “As Chief Justice, John Roberts’ most important role is to protect the integrity of the judicial branch, but by almost any standard, he has profoundly failed to protect the integrity of our highest court when the ethics of his colleagues have been called into question by their conduct.”

She continued, noting that “For years, Roberts has failed to investigate documented evidence” that Clarence Thomas was “not disclosing private jet and yacht trips and other gifts from a billionaire, but when a draft opinion leaked, Roberts sprang into action, announcing a probing investigation. In refusing to appear at this hearing, he attached a note that each justice contends they themselves are complying with ‘financial disclosure requirements and limitations on gifts’ — despite the manifest evidence that is not true.

“Was Roberts one of the people who advised Thomas he didn’t have to disclose gifts of luxury travel?

“This is one of the many questions that needs to be answered.

“These are not complicated requirements, and I know that because I previously helped lead the part of the judicial branch that oversees the Financial Disclosure Office, in addition to serving as a leading staffer in the Justice Department and the Senate on judicial issues. I have reviewed hundreds of financial disclosure forms of judges and judicial candidates, which are usually filled out by their secretaries and accountants and then reviewed for accuracy and signed by the judges themselves. The language of these forms and the illustrative examples in the instructions are easy to follow.”

Silent Spring


Spring is a time of new relationships and new growth, writes Miles Richardson, a U.K.-based professor of nature connectedness. But over two-thirds of wildlife populations have been lost since 1970. Each year, spring grows quieter. 

MILES RICHARDSON;, @findingnature
    Richardson is a professor of human factors and nature connectedness at the University of Derby. He works on improving the connection between humans and the rest of nature. He blogs at

Richardson spoke to the Institute for Public Accuracy from Staffordshire in the U.K., where spring has begun. “This spring I’ve heard many more blackcaps singing than previous years… the cherry blossoms are starting to emerge.” Richardson says that spring is a crucial season to foster the human-nature bond: “Coming after winter, the colors, sounds and new growth of spring are especially welcome. There’s more light, more opportunity to engage the senses, notice nature’s beauty, the joy, calm and meaning it brings.”

In his blog, Richardson noted that there is a pervasive myth that spending time doing excursions into nature, such as hiking, strengthens a human’s connection to the natural environment. But “when nature is merely a backdrop to recreation,” Richardson said, “it’s less likely that time will be spent engaging with nature… [it] might not involve moments with nature, sensory contact, emotional engagement, care and reflecting on what nature means to you. Developing a close bond with nature is not necessarily about special trips and a part-time relationship, rather simple everyday engagement is important too.” 

Richardson argues that even in urban environments, it is possible to build a close connection with nature. “But for a transformative, deeper change required for a more sustainable future,” structural changes to our cities are necessary. “We’ve found that even in an urban environment, simply noting the good things in nature each day for a week leads to clinically significant improvements in mental health.”

Covid Infection Risk by Occupation and Industry


A new study in the American Journal of Public Health, “Covid-19 Risk by Workers’ Occupation and Industry in the United States, 2020–2021,” analyzed National Health Interview Survey data to investigate workers’ risk of Covid infection. Workers in health care and the social assistance industries experienced significantly elevated rates of infection.

   Gaffney is a pulmonary and critical care physician at the Cambridge Health Alliance and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

Gaffney, who co-authored the study, told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “As far as I’m aware, this is the first nationally-representative study” that looks into the relationship between Covid-19 incidence and worker occupation and industry. Other studies have looked at death rates, Gaffney noted, “but death can be confounded by health status. The advantage of our approach is that it looks at the U.S. as a whole and that we could try to isolate work from other factors that might affect” the risk of infection, controlling for covariates such as age, gender, household size, and family income. 

“A low-income person might have an increased Covid risk no matter what [their job is]; let’s say they don’t have a car and have to take public transportation to work.” The study’s authors thus controlled for income and for the number of people in the home. They found that the risk of Covid increased if a person was working compared to nonworking and that there was a “significant stepwise increase in Covid risk as the number of workers rose in the house.”

“The occupation and industry impacts,” which show that workers in sectors in healthcare and social assistance industries had a higher risk of infection, “were what we expected. But our study allows us to put a clearer and firmer conclusion about workplace effects. The fact that the number of working adults in the home was so clearly associated [with increased risk] was a strong effect and speaks to how workplace exposures affect everyone” around the worker, not just the worker themselves. More broadly, [our findings] show that workplace risks exist even for people with professions and jobs that are well-compensated.” 

Going forward, Gaffney’s findings indicate that workplaces need to do a better job of protecting workers in future outbreaks. 

DOJ Using “Foreign Agents” Charge to Repress Black Liberation Organizers


Recently, the U.S. government unsealed new grand jury indictments against members of the African People’s Socialist Party for what civil libertarians argue is protected First Amendment activity.

AZADEH SHAHSHAHANI,, @ashahshahani

Poirot is a practicing attorney in Brooklyn and member of the National Lawyers Guild’s New York City Executive Committee. Shahshahani is the legal and advocacy director with Project South and a past president of the NLG.

They just co-wrote the piece “The DOJ Is Using ‘Foreign Agents’ Accusations to Repress Black Liberation Organizers” for The Nation.

They write: “On July 29, 2022, Omali Yeshitela and his wife, Ona Zene, awoke at 5 o’clock in the morning to the sound of flash grenades and drones, as heavily armed FBI agents stormed into their home searching for evidence of organizational ties to the Russian government. Yeshitela is the 80-year-old chair of the African People’s Socialist Party, a Pan-Africanist political party founded in 1972 and headquartered in Florida. His wife is the deputy chair. …

“The FBI surveilled these Black liberation activists and their organizations for years before finally securing a search warrant for their personal residences and other locations connected to the African People’s Socialist Party and the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement. The FBI’s search warrants were based on a federal grand jury indictment, which charged an unrelated individual — Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov — with violations relating to a little-known statute called the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). …

“Since its initial enactment into law, the DOJ has invoked FARA to stigmatize and criminalize political advocacy that is contrary to the interests of the U.S. government. Early illustrative examples include the 1951 indictment of W.E.B. Du Bois, who was prosecuted as an agent of the Soviet Union for having promoted and circulated the Stockholm Appeal, calling for a ban on nuclear weapons. …

“In the face of this targeted political repression, progressive forces should resist the cynical, politicized use of ‘foreign agent’ accusations as a dog whistle to chill and criminalize international solidarity, and should directly oppose the attendant FBI raids and prosecutions when and where they occur. The chilling effect caused by foreign agent accusations is an incredibly powerful deterrent against protected First Amendment activity, and such accusations could lead to financial ruin, as was the case for Du Bois.”

New Child Safety Bills Nationwide


MIT Technology Review reports that dozens of bills purporting to make the internet safer for children and teenagers have been introduced in several states in the last few months. The content of child safety bills varies from state to state. Some focus on limiting data collection from users who are minors. In California, the bills focus on shifting the incentive model for data and online advertising; currently, companies can profit from minors’ online data. 

    Ryan-Mosley is a senior tech policy reporter for MIT Technology Review. 

Ryan-Mosley told the Institute for Public Accuracy: “These bills are fragmented and varied,” and it is still mostly unclear how any of these patchwork standards would be enforced from state to state. In many cases it is also still unclear how social media platforms will verify users’ ages––whether by government verification, drivers’ licenses, or some other method. 

The bills generally use “palatable political packaging” to advance new online safety norms for children and teens. Ryan-Mosley says that by using child safety language, the bills are workable and already show some potential for bipartisan agreement. In comparison, bills that focus on privacy, rather than safety, have been more controversial. 

The U.S. still lacks baseline laws to define online privacy for adults and children, making it difficult to “carve out special status for children,” Ryan-Mosley added. Legislators are thus under pressure to define what kinds of privacy protections are reasonable for the larger population. “There’s a requirement to think about risks to other people online, no matter their age.” 

“Europe is years ahead of the U.S. on this front,” Ryan-Mosley said. The European model proposes that tech companies have a “duty of care” to the children who use them. This standard is quite broad, she said. If implemented in the U.S., companies might implement significant changes in terms of how and what children can post on their platforms to avoid legal liability.

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