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Single Payer Health Care Essential to Reducing Healthcare Disparities

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By Andrea Parrott
Special to the NNPA from The Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder

(NNPA) After daily witnessing situations in which patients suffered or had to make decisions detrimental to their health due to difficulties in accessing health care, Dr. Elizabeth Frost and Dr. Ann Settgast had enough. They felt they had to do something that would allow everyone to have health insurance and access to health care. The two decided to found the Minnesota chapter of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP).

PNHP is a national nonprofit organization whose members advocate for single-payer health care. The idea of single-payer health care is that instead of people paying fees to a private health insurance company, they will pay one fund. Hospitals, doctors, and other health providers would then receive payment from that one fund.

Dr. Settgast explained single payer in this way: “Some people use an analogy of ‘Medicare of all’ as a synonym for single payer… It’s an example of a fund where everyone pays into the fund and then that fund pays for health care and private deliverers of health care. So Medicare is like a little micro single payer.”

We [AP] spoke with the doctors [EF and AS], asking them about the state of health care in Minnesota. The edited interview follows:

AP: What are some personal experiences that led you to advocate for a single payer health program?

AS: That’s a great question that could take me, like, 12 hours to answer. I’m a primary care doctor, so I take care of patients on a daily basis. Every single day I see reasons why we need single payer. A recent one would be a woman who I took care of — a Vietnamese woman in her early 60s who came in and I diagnosed her with rheumatoid arthritis, which is terrible. She had terrible swelling of her hand joints — really deforming joint disease.

She was a full-time employee of a company, and her husband worked full time as well. Got her to the rheumatologist. Got her on the right drugs. Her joints totally improved. Her pain was eliminated. She was fully functional. Everything was great.

And then, she just didn’t show up for, like, two or three years. One day she just shows up on my schedule… So I came into the room. She’s a tiny little woman, and from the door I could see her joint was like the size of a golf ball — like, hugely swollen. I said (I’ll just change her name), I said, “Lynn, what happened? Where have you been?”

Since I had seen her, she got laid off from her job and her husband died. And she was only 63 at the time that this happened… She didn’t have access to health care, so she just had to stop her drugs, stop seeing her rheumatologist, and her joints deteriorated… I didn’t realize [it], but she had turned 65, so she was back.

And it’s disgusting, because this woman’s hand is ruined and it’s totally preventable. We see this stuff every single day. And it’s inhumane and it’s disgusting as a physician when all you care about is taking care of sick people to see people not access care.

EF: [On] a daily basis there are stories… Yesterday I had a patient who stopped her birth control and now is pregnant. I also today had somebody who had psoriasis… They haven’t had it treated in almost a year now because they don’t have insurance…

Again, again and again you’re looking at somebody and apologizing for our medical system: “That’s really unfair. I’m sorry that happened to you.” You can’t just keep doing that again and again. You have to find some other outlet to feel like you’re making a difference on a larger level.

AP: What do you see as the main healthcare policy issues in Minnesota?

AS: We are leading the nation in the number of individuals with high-deductible health insurance plans. The idea is that this would somehow promote personal responsibility — you have a high deductible, so you’re not going to go to the doctor unless you really need to, because you’re going to be spending your own money.

But what that says is that you’re relying on people who aren’t doctors to decide whether they need medical care or not. [This] is problematic right there. That’s our job, to say, “No, this is not something serious, you’re OK.” People shouldn’t be relied on to do that at home.

But then the other issue that we know [is that] there is actually good data showing that the higher your deductible, the less care you receive. And there’s no way to know that that care isn’t needed. You’re much more likely to see conditions being under-managed or undiagnosed. People just aren’t going to the office when they’re sick…

EF: I think a big, huge policy thing that’s really going on in Minnesota right now, of course, is the exchanges and figuring out how to set up the exchanges under the Affordable Care Act — that’s huge. That’s going to take up a lot of energy in the next year or two, but I don’t know how much it’s really going to solve the problem.

AS: It’s not going to solve it, because all you’re doing is adding this level of administrative complexity where now people can go shopping in this exchange to get their private health insurance. It might help some people to get some policy, but it’s not designing the system so that it will work. It’s adding more complexity to an already chaotic system…

You still have these huge billing departments having to bill multiple payers, and you’re still having insurance companies take all this money off the top…for functions that have nothing to do with health care. There’s still a huge amount of waste still in the system, and we haven’t done anything to change that.

AP: What are some of the main health policy issues that you see facing the nation?

EF: I think Minnesota is a little bit ahead of the rest of the nation in the area that we’re talking about… Like, we already offer Medicaid to adults without children.

AS: Our Medicaid eligibility rules are much better here… I have a brother in Indiana… If he was here, he would qualify for coverage…

EF: We’re talking a lot about how health care is paid for when we do single payer… I think Minnesota has some of the largest healthcare disparities. I know that education is the worst in the nation in terms of disparities… I don’t know how we compare to other states in terms of health care, but I have a feeling it’s not very good. One of the things that really distresses me a lot is especially the Native Americans have terrible, terrible healthcare statistics… It’s really, really sad, and that’s a population I work with a lot.

AS: The problems in the nation are the same as the problems here: uninsurance, underinsurance, people not having access to care. That’s in all of the states.

EF: Of course, the biggest problem is the insurance industry… It’s not like the politicians are in charge and they’re guiding the system, No, they need to figure out what the [insurance] industry might accept and then work within those boundaries… Our politicians are controlled pretty much by the industry…

The evidence for a single-payer system is so ridiculously strong, it’s really amazing that we weren’t able to do more with the Affordable Care Act. It’s really quite astounding that the Affordable Care Act is such a big deal and it does so little…

One of the things that was not allowed to be on the table, was not allowed to be discussed at all, was the idea that the government would purchase drugs for our elderly… Now there’s like a gazillon Medicare Part D plans. Each one of those little plans doesn’t have the purchasing power to drive down the price of drugs.

AS: We see the patients who don’t take their medicines, or they take them every other day because they have to make them last.

AP: What are some of the main challenges to making changes in health policy?

AS: The health insurers. Because if you look at the polling data, the public supports single payer, physicians support single payer… We know you can cover everyone for less cost and give everyone high-quality coverage.

What happens in the U.S. is [that], if I’m the doctor and I see 20 patients in a day and I diagnose them all with the same thing — let’s say they all have diabetes or uncontrolled sugar — every patient, depending on their payer, may pay my clinic a different fee because all the payers, the insurance companies, are negotiating with the all the clinics separately…

So it’s hugely complicated, which is part of the cost, all these contract negotiations, because everybody gets a different deal, and so every patient pays differently… It’s so unequal. And then, if you’re uninsured and you come in, you have a totally different cost than what the insurance pays in the next room.

AP: What progress do you see in addressing health disparities in Minnesota?

AS: I personally think it’s crazy to try and address health disparities without having a system that covers everyone. I mean, how can you really expect to decrease disparities if you have whole portions of the population that don’t have any access to the system? You can’t do things on a population level if you’re leaving 10 percent of the people out…

I mean, obviously having a single payer doesn’t eliminate all healthcare disparities, because a lot of healthcare disparities aren’t necessarily [related to] access to the system, but it’s the first step… I mean, how are they going to stand on equal footing in terms of their diabetes control or their hypertension control if they don’t have a doctor because they don’t have health insurance?

EF: I think it’s important to differentiate between health disparities and healthcare disparities, because health disparities are, a lot of them, socially determined. So if you don’t have a grocery store in the area…that will make it a lot harder to eat well… So I think separating those two things is important.

But in terms of access to health care, I see again and again and again…somebody gets out of Medicaid and gets a job and loses their insurance so they can’t see you anymore. So once you get back…on your feet, you get back into the system, you can’t treat those diseases that you’ve been treating…

So it’s that inequality in the healthcare system, the injustice in the healthcare system, is what makes me so angry, and it’s because I see it every day.

$8.5 Billion Agreement with Mortgage Servicers

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By Charlene Crowell
NNPA Columnist

(NNPA) The recent joint announcement by two key federal regulators believed a negotiated agreement with 10 mortgage servicing firms would help more than 3.8 million consumers who were wrongfully foreclosed during 2009 and 2010. Brokered by the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), mortgage servicing firms agreed to jointly pay foreclosed consumers $3.3 billion, and allot another $5.2 billion for loan modifications and other services.

Yet as news of the settlement spread, a range of opinions emerged. From a prominent Capitol Hill legislator to consumer advocates, varying views spoke about the harm wrought by wrongful foreclosures and how far $3.3 billion split amount nearly 4 million consumers would really go.

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said: “I do not know what the rush was to make this settlement without answering key questions, and although I look forward to obtaining information about how this deal may assist homeowners, I have serious concerns that this settlement may allow banks to skirt what they owe and sweep past abuses under the rug without determining the full harm borrowers have suffered.”

Speaking for the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), Paul Leonard said, “We are deeply concerned that there be adequate safeguards in the settlement to ensure that borrowers and communities hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis will receive their fair share of both the cash payments and mortgage relief that will keep as many people as possible in their homes and out of foreclosure.”

Debby Goldberg of the National Fair Housing Alliance was even more direct. “Communities of color were particularly hard hit by abusive mortgage practices. In order for the public to have any confidence in the fairness of this settlement, the OCC and the Federal Reserve must ensure that borrowers in these communities have equal access to the help it provides.”

Even if public debate of this development continues, how much financial loss America’s homeowners and communities have already suffered has been researched and revealed the facts of who has lost homes, wealth, and quality of life.

CRL’s most recent research, “The State of Lending in America and is Impact on U.S. Households,” (http://www.responsiblelending.org/state-of-lending/) updated earlier foreclosure research, finding that the nation has a still-troubled housing market. CRL also developed a new state-by-state analysis of foreclosures and lost wealth.

According to the report, since February 2012, 11 percent of African-American borrowers and 14 percent of Latino borrowers have already lost their homes to foreclosures. By comparison and during the same years, foreclosure rates for non-Hispanic Whites amounted to 6 percent and among Asian-American borrowers, 8 percent.

Even worse, African-American and Latino borrowers were respectively 2.8 and 2.3 times as likely to have received a mortgage loan with a prepayment penalty even though many of these borrowers could have qualified for more affordable and sustainable loans.

Across the country, more than half (52 percent) of the lost wealth resulting from living in close proximity to foreclosures was borne by minority census tract homeowners. In the District of Columbia and seven states –California, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey and New York – an even greater share of lost wealth occurred in minority communities.

Additionally, African-Americans remain at a higher imminent risk of more foreclosures in Florida, New York, New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois. For example, Black Floridians risk of imminent foreclosures is doubled that projected for the entire state.

As the nation prepares for the 2013 observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, the martyred leader’s historic call for economic justice has yet to be fulfilled.

Charlene Crowell is a communications manager with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at: Charlene.crowell@responsiblending.org

Violence is 'as American as Cherry Pie'

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By George E. Curry
NNPA Editor-in-Chief

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – In the late 1960s, Black revolutionary H. Rap Brown, now known as Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, was often quoted as saying violence is “as American as cherry pie.” More than 40 years after the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) firebrand made that pronouncement, the numbers supports his assertion.

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, nearly 100,000 people in the U.S. are shot each year in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents or by law enforcement officials. Of the 31,593 who died in 2008 from gun violence, 2,179 were murdered; 18,223 killed themselves; 592 were killed accidently; 326 were killed during police intervention and 273 died, but the intent was unknown.

The report shows that 66,769 survived gun injuries, including 44,466 who were injured in a gun attack; 3,013 were injured during a suicide attempt; 18,610 were shot accidently and 679 were shot during police intervention.

On average, according to the Brady Campaign:

Every day, 270 people in America, 47 of them children and teens, are shot in murders, assaults, suicides, accidents and police intervention;
Every day, 87 people die from gun violence, 33 of them murdered;
Every day, eight children and teens die from gun violence;
Every day, 183 people are shot, but survive their gun injuries and
Every day, 38 children and teens are shot, but survive their gun injuries.

Every time there is mass murder, there are flashbacks to earlier killings: The University of Texas tower sniper in 1966, the 1986 post office shootings in Edmond, Oklahoma that inspired the term “going postal,” the Columbine High massacre in 1999, the deadly shooting spree at Virginia Tech in 2007, the Fort Hood Texas mass murder in 2009, the weird-look on the face of Jared Loughner after he fatally shot six people and injured 12 others last year, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in Tucson.

This year has seen an unusual number of high-profile shootings. In April, three Black people were killed and two more injured in Tulsa as part of a hate crime. In July, 12 people were killed and 58 were injured in Aurora, Colorado at the midnight premier of the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.” And in August, seven people were killed at three injured at a Sikh temple in a Milwaukee suburb.

Other terrorizing acts also come to mind, including Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and Ted Kaczynski, the Harvard-educated “Unabomber,” who was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences in 1998 for killing three people and injuring 23 others over a 20-year period.

And, now a mass slaughter at an elementary school.

At a prayer vigil Sunday night in Newtown, Conn. for the 20 children, most of them 6- or 7-years-old, and six adults, President Obama said it is time to explore what can be done to curb gun violence.

He said, “Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children – all of them – safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose? I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.”

In the wake of the latest shooting spree, even some longtime National Rifle Association supporters are saying we need more stringent gun laws.

Senator Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Va.) – who has an “A” rating from the NRA – said: “I just came with my family from deer hunting,” Manchin said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “I’ve never had more than three shells in a clip. Sometimes you don’t get more than one shot anyway at a deer. It’s common sense. It’s time to move beyond rhetoric. We need to sit down and have a common-sense discussion and move in a reasonable way.”

Even Rupert Murdock, CEO of News Corp., asked rhetorically on his Twitter account, “When will politicians find courage to ban automatic weapons?” Murdock’s media empire includes Fox News, which strongly advocates pro-gun positions.

Although it may not seem like it, America is less violent than it was two decades ago, according the FBI crime statistics. The homicide rate, which peaked at 10 per 100,000 in the early 1990s, is now about half that rate. However, the same can’t be said of mass murders, defined as involving the deaths of at least four people.

James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern University in Boston, said there is no pattern with mass murders. He said there were 645 mass-murder events between 1976 and 2010.

Even at its greatly reduced level, the U.S. is far more violent than other high-income countries. Data from the World Health Organization for 2003 from 23 heavily populated high-income countries showed that the U.S had far higher rates of firearm deaths than the other 22 countries studied.

In fact, of the 23 countries examined, 80 percent of all firearm deaths occurred in the U.S., 86 percent of all women killed by firearms were females living in the United States and of all children 14 and under killed by firearms, 87 percent of them were in the U.S.

Speaking in Connecticut, Obama said, “Since I’ve been president, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America – victims whose – much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Sports Community Impacted By Connecticut Tragedy

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By Jacobi Eaves
Special to the NNPA from the Atlanta Black Star

There were multiple sports figures that took to social media websites Friday to express their feelings about the shooting tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, with every NBA game having a moment of silence before their Friday night start.

“I don’t know if any of you have family, friends or connections to the horror that took place today in Connecticut. Let us all pray for them. The devastation is immeasurable,” Kobe Bryant wrote on his Facebook page.

Adam Lanza, 20, walked into Sandy Hook Elementary Friday and carried out a massacre that killed 26 people, including 20 children between the ages of 5-10, after killing his mother at home. He then committed suicide at the school.

Hours after the incident hit the airwaves, many athletes expressed their emotions over social media websites to share their shock and sympathy with the victims in Newtown.

“Innocent victims just gone,” LeBron James said in a series of posts on Twitter. “This is really messing with my mind. Kids is everything to me! And of i have 2 of my own in elementary school as well. I can’t imagine it happening to my kids school. I and the rest of the families would be devastated! Something has to be done.”

Cleveland Cavaliers coach Byron Scott had a difficult time talking about events that occurred Friday as he addressed the media after their 90-86 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I have three healthy kids and a beautiful granddaughter,” he said. “When you hear about kids who are that young and don’t get a chance to live because of something that’s so senseless as somebody going in and doing the things that this person did, I think it affects everybody. It puts everything in the right perspective as well. As much as we love this game, this doesn’t mean nothing.”

Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder wrote “Newton CT” on his right shoe in the Thunder’s 113-103 victory over Sacramento.

The NFL issued a memo Friday asking each of their teams to observe a moment of silence before each game this weekend.

“This shocking event has brought the nation together in grieving for the victims and their families as well as the survivors,” the note read. “We believe it is appropriate and important for us to collectively recognize and participate in the grieving process at our games this weekend, as we have done on other occasions.”

Even with all the sympathy that athletes were sending out, Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta expressed anger.

“Not sure if there is anything lower than harming innocent children,” Gionta tweeted. He ended his tweet with a hashtag of “coward,” but also scrutinized the media for interviewing young children outside the school after the incident.

New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams, who has five children ranging from the ages of 2 to 14, expressed his feelings about the slaying.

“If we can go to outer space and take care of trees and rivers and animals, we can do a better job of taking care of our kids. It’s just a sad situation.”

Over the next couple of days athletes, coaches and management will continue to express their sympathies while cherishing their time with their family, but more importantly with their children as Christmas nears.

Blacks Poised to Own Smaller Share of Media Outlets

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By Freddie Allen
NNPA Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON (NNPA) – The Federal Communications Commission, once viewed as an ally in expanding media ownership by African-Americans, is now considering regulations that many say will make Black ownership more difficult to achieve.

The proposed changes come in the wake of an FCC report that showed that minorities trailed far behind their White counterparts in the ownership of broadcast stations.

According to the FCC report, Blacks owned 231 broadcast stations in 2011, including television and radio outlets, a fraction of the 9,610 broadcast stations owned by Whites. Blacks owned majority shares in just 10 (0.7 percent) full power commercial television stations (FPTV), down from 12 (1 percent) owned in 2009. The number of White owned FPTV stations increased from 754 (63.4 percent) to 935 (69.4 percent) over the same period.

“The results weren’t surprising, but were disappointing,” said David Honig, co-founder of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, a nonprofit group that promotes equal access and civil rights in mass media and telecommunications.

For some experts it’s clear that the growing disparity in ownership is about one thing: money.

“If you don’t have money, you can’t buy radio and TV stations,” said Dwight Ellis broadcast journalism and media studies professor at Bowie State University in Maryland. “You need money to get into the game and you need money to stay in the game.”

And large media companies have the money to increase ownership in markets where they were previously prohibited from owning more than two media outlets.

According to Honig, access to capital is just one of the hurdles that confront minorities seeking to break into the game.

Engineering deficiencies, employment discrimination that decreases the talent pool, and changes to the FCC’s television duopoly rule also makes it harder for minorities to own media outlets.

A broadcast duopoly is when one company owns two or more stations in the same city or community.

Until 2001, the FCC did not allow companies to have overlapping coverage in the same area on the premise that the company could have too much influence over the public airways. The FCC now permits the ownership of two stations in the same market provided at least eight unique stations are left after the duopoly is formed and two of the four highest-rated stations in a market cannot be owned by the same person or company.

David Honig and an umbrella group supporting diversity and competition in media ownership, called Diversity and Competition Supporters (DCS), argue that the changes in the rule “suppressed minority and female ownership, and its harmful implications far outweigh any consideration of potential benefits the duopoly rule may confer.”

Honig’s DCS group also found that duopolies made it harder for minorities to access capital from lending institutions. In a 2012 brief to the FCC, the DCS said, “duopolies have threatened minority ownership because of the fact that lenders and investors are less willing to finance a standalone station when they can finance duopolies because of their more attractive revenue models.”

DCS also reported that local television duopolies often cut the local programming options targeted to people of color.

Some minority groups did manage to eke out modest gains in ownership.

Hispanics increased the number of full power television stations they owned from 30 (2.5 percent) in 2009 to 39 in 2011 (2.9 percent).

Hispanics and Blacks also saw gains in lower power television stations (LPTV) that serve local markets with a limited broadcast range. Hispanic LPTV station ownership jumped from 85 stations in 2009 to 120 stations in 2011. Blacks saw the number of LPTV stations they owned more than double from seven to 16 stations.

African-Americans increased their ownership in FM radio stations from 63 in 2009 to 93 in 2011. Over that same period, Hispanics increased their FM station ownership from 141 stations to 151.

Despite modest gains in some areas, minority media ownership makes up only a fraction of what Whites control. Whites own majority stakes in more than 69 percent of full power TV stations, 76 percent of low power television stations and nearly 80 percent of FM radio stations.

Some advocates fear that without major gains in minority media ownership, people of color will lose the ability to shape images and messages that reach their communities and beyond.

“Black media ownership is critical, otherwise we don’t have the ability to articulate our voice without distortion or without being complicated by someone else’s agenda,” said Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown University sociology professor who makes frequent appearances on television.

Dyson added: “The reality is, that without significant presence in terms of radio terrestrial and satellite as well as television, then African American people are at a loss.”

Some civil rights groups believe that these losses could grow if the FCC makes it easier for corporations to further consolidate media ownership in major markets across the nation.

Proponents for weakening cross-ownership regulations argue that it will allow companies that already own top 20 TV or radio stations in a market to inject much needed capital into struggling into newspapers, saving local jobs.

However, critics of say that the minority owners will be squeezed out of a rapidly-changing and contracting industry.

“We’re deeply concerned that it will have a negative effect on racial, ethnic minority and women media ownership,” said Hilary Shelton, Washington, D.C. bureau chief of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Diversity in the media is not just geographic diversity its not just diversity in programming it’s also diversity in the very core of business in decisions made at the owner’s level.”

After the FCC published their report, the NAACP joined a number of civil rights groups and released a statement outlining their opposition to the FCC’s plan to relax the ban on cross-ownership. The group called the report “late and filled with flaws” and limited in it’s analysis of impact that regulatory changes would have on minority ownership.

“It’s baffling that the FCC is ignoring the court’s instructions and rushing to further water down its cross-ownership rule without fully evaluating the impacts of doing so on female and minority ownership,” said Free Press President Craig Aaron in a recent press release. Free Press is an organization that supports universal Internet access and diverse media ownership.

Aaron said that counting who owns what is just the first step, but FCC should not adopt its proposed rule changes without first determining how minority media owners will be affected.

“Past research shows these communities are the ones that are harmed most by further consolidation, particularly the proposal the FCC is poised to adopt,” Aaron said.

Honig and the Diversity and Competition Supporters’ group presented a brief to the FCC that proposed the creation of minority ownership incubators, providing a telecom public engineer position for small businesses and non-profits, and developing “an online resource directory to enhance recruitment, career advancement, and diversity efforts.”

The brief also argued for the reinstatement and expansion of the tax certificate policy that “allowed companies to defer capital gains taxation on the sale of media properties to minorities.”

In addition, the brief reported that from 1978 to 1995, through the tax certificate policy, “the FCC granted 356 tax certificates – 287 for radio, 40 for television and 30 for cable franchises.”

The FCC said that it plans to delay the vote on changing cross-ownership regulations, at least until January, to allow for more feedback on the proposition.

(Public comment forms can be obtained electronically at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/userManual/upload/express_form.jsp or can be mailed to:

Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary
Federal Communications Commission
Office of the Secretary
445 12th Street, SW
Room TW-B204
Washington, D.C. 20554).

Professor Dyson said that although no one wants to talk about affirmative action, something has to be done to boost minority media ownership.

He said, “We have to talk about the distribution of those resources and the awarding of those licenses has to be dealt with so that the parity that we seek in the ‘so-called Fourth Estate’ gets revved up again.”

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