Something remarkable happened this week across the South: Hundreds of call center workers walked off the job in state after state.

They work with a company called Maximus, which the federal government contracts to field calls from patients seeking help with Medicare or Affordable Care Act benefits. But as federal contractors — not federal employees — they often can’t afford health care themselves.

This week in OtherWords, Christina Jemenez — who takes calls from seniors in Hattiesburg, Mississippi — calls on the Biden administration to stop rewarding companies that stiff their workers with federal contracts. Don’t miss it!

Also this week, Jim Hightower explains why the humanities deserve protection from politicians. And cartoonist Khalil Bendib condemns the indiscriminate targeting that’s driving the horrifying human toll in Gaza.

New This Week…

I Help Seniors Get Health Care. Shouldn’t I Be Able to Afford My Own? | Christina Jemenez
President Biden needs to stand up for federal call center workers like my colleagues and me.

The Humanities Are Priceless | Jim Hightower
We shouldn’t let far-right politicians strip our education system down to what corporate employers demand.

CARTOON: Targeting Hamas | Khalil Bendib
Backlash is rising along with the civilian toll in Gaza.

In Case You Missed It…

Americans Want a Ceasefire. It’s Our Politicians Who Are Out of Touch | Farrah Hassen
Our elected officials should listen to the two-thirds of Americans calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

It’s Time to Talk About Affordability, Not Just Inflation | Bilal Baydoun
Regulation and public investment are a better response to high prices than more interest rate hikes.

The Global Significance of the UAW’s Win | Sam Pizzigati
The watershed agreements America’s auto workers won could inspire working people here and abroad. And that’s by design.

School Lunches Should Be Free | Sonali Kolhatkar
During the pandemic, schools were allowed to treat the idea of feeding students to be as essential as educating them. That’s how it should be all the time.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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