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Pew Center on Global Climate Change;
Examines how the Department of Energy has spent the $36.7 billion in climate- and energy-related funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Provides data on funds appropriated, awarded, and spent and jobs created or saved.
Compares U.S. states' combined federal and state corporate tax rates with those of other industrialized nations. Argues for cutting both federal and state taxes in order to compete for foreign direct investment against developed nations with lower rates.
Ranks state child health systems on thirteen measurements of five dimensions: access, quality, costs, equity, and potential to lead healthy lives. Highlights variations, regional patterns, and correlations between indicators and with demographic factors.
Estimates the economic burden of a typical U.S. cap-and-trade system by income, age, region, and family type, as well as its impact on employment, household earnings, and economic output. Compares the impact of cap-and-trade with that of a carbon tax.
Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education;
As improved economic conditions and higher state revenues offer governors an opportunity to invest in long-term priorities, most are focusing action on strengthening their state's prospects for long-term economic growth, according to the 2007 state-of-the-state addresses. For most of this new century, state budgets have struggled to keep pace with education and health care spending. However, improved economic conditions are enabling governors to pursue bolder initiatives that focus on building their state's innovation economy and knowledge-based enterprises.
Presents survey findings about the public's experiences with access to health care, care coordination, cost and administrative burdens, and health services delivery; their concerns; and priorities for system reform by income, insurance status, and region.
Based on a survey of free clinics serving uninsured low-income patients, examines the resource constraints limiting the expansion of healthcare services provided, including the high costs of labs, equipment, and medication. Makes recommendations.
Pew Health Group;
Outlines potentially harmful practices prohibited on consumer credit cards but not on business credit cards, including unpredictable pricing structures and penalty interest rate increases. Recommends applying the Credit CARD Act more broadly.
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation;
Outlines price and entry controls that impede innovations that could lead to more efficient business models and growth in the legal, health, drug, education, and finance sectors. Surveys options for removing barriers, including state experimentation.
World Resources Institute (WRI);
Climate change impacts in the United States are increasingly evident and come with steep economic and social costs. The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events has increased in recent years, bringing record-breaking heat, heavy precipitation, coastal flooding, severe droughts, and damaging wildfires.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), weather-related damages in the United States were $60 billion in 2011, and are expected to be significantly greater in 2012.
The mounting costs convey an unmistakable urgency to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). This report examines pathways for GHG reductions in the United States through actions taken at the federal and state levels without the need for new legislation from the U.S. Congress.
Migration Policy Institute;
Migration has profoundly affected - and continues to shape - the social and economic trajectories of the United States, Mexico, and Central America, as well as teh ways in which these countries relate and interact with each other.
At this writing, US legislators are debating how to reform an antiquated and inflexible immigration system that does not address 1) the mismatch between labor demand and visa supplyu, 2) the fate of the estimated 11 million unauthorized residents, or 3) the extended separation of US Citizens and residents and their families abroad. The immigration system has also lost control of its integrity by failing to maintain the rule of law in many migration matters.
The resulting reforms must tackle these deficiencies head on. They must introduce into the system the flexibility necessary to adjust visa numbers according to the ebbs and flows of the economy; give it the authority and resources to ensure that foreign workers and their family members are treated properly, give it the means to be fair to US workers; and make immigration enforcement stronger and smarter, both at the borders and inside the country. Only then can the United States have an immigration system that embraces and ensures legality, fairness, orderliness, responsiveness to labor market needs, and predictability for all who engage the system; and earns the trust of the public.
The goal of the Regional Migration Study Group, convened by the Migration Policy Institute and the Latin American Program/ Mexico Institute of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 2010 has been to analyze and shed light ont he changes the migration system is undergoing and propose a pragmatic, cooperative way forward.
Public Citizen Foundation, Inc.;
Americans' dependence on employer-sponsored health insurance arose as an unintended byproduct of World War II economic controls. To circumvent wage caps, businesses began offering health insurance and other fringe benefits to attract workers. The federal government provided further incentives in 1943 by permitting tax deductions for employer-sponsored health care, and the custom took hold.
Today, about 90 percent of people in the United States who have private health insurance receive it through employer-group plans, with the other 10 percent purchasing their insurance on the individual market. Meanwhile, the health care system that employers largely pay for is staggeringly expensive and way out of proportion with the cost of those of other wealthy countries.
Even by a conservative methodology that adjusts for countries' relative wealth (thus taking into account the higher typical compensation in the United States), health care spending in the United States in 2006 was $643 billion more (out of $2.1 trillion in total expenditures) than it should have been if other developed countries were used as a guide, according to the McKinsey Global Institute. More recent data (not corrected for relative wealth) show that the United States spent nearly 1.5 times more on health care as a share of gross domestic product than any other country in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2011 (the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available.) On a per capita basis, the United spent two-and-a-half times as much on health care as the average OECD country that year.
Not surprisingly, businesses view the cost of providing health care benefits as an enormous burden. In each of eight surveys the National Federation of Independent Business has conducted of its members since 1982 on problems facing small businesses, respondents have ranked the "Cost of Health Insurance" number one.Our system disadvantages businesses that provide health insurance benefits relative to those that do not because they directly and indirectly end up subsidizing the costs of health care services received by people they do not employ. Further, in a circumstance that often afflicts small businesses, employers that offer health care benefits suffer a cost disadvantage against competitors that do not, although they might realize offsetting advantages through improved ability to attract and retain qualified workers.
Our health care system also imposes a disadvantage on large U.S.-based businesses because their international competitors do not face nearly as significant of health care costs. For instance, as the U.S. automakers' losses mounted amid the recession of 2007, a study revealed that $1,635 was built into the price of every General Motors vehicle just to pay for health care benefits for GM's employees and retirees. Japan-based Toyota, in contrast, was paying just $215 per vehicle for current employees' health care and nothing for retirees.
The tie between employment and health insurance causes numerous other distortions in the economy. Perhaps the most prominent of these is a phenomenon known as "job lock." This widely accepted theory posits that employees are reluctant to switch jobs or, especially, to pursue ventures involving self-employment and entrepreneurship out of fear of losing their access to health care. More broadly, job lock may be slowing the rate of economic growth, thereby reducing businesses' pool of potential customers.
A publicly funded, universal health care system in the United States (or, to a lesser extent, within individual states10) would address many of these problems. By snapping the tie between employment and health insurance, health insurance-based job lock would no longer exist. Meanwhile, the overall costs of health care would likely stabilize due to many factors, chiefly that administrative costs would be reduced and abusive pricing would be policed.
Additionally, although businesses would likely be called upon to pay for some share of health care costs under a universal care system, that cost would likely be reduced for those that currently furnish benefits, and whatever obligations remained for businesses would be distributed more equitably than at present.