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PSN on September 13, 2007 - 7:57am
Despite claims by the Bush administration that extending SCHIP health coverage to more kids will undermine private health coverage, new data from the Economic Policy Institute emphasizes that 86% of SCHIP enrollees either had no coverage or lost coverage within the six months before signing up. And even the majority of those with private coverage who switched over to SCHIP cited the lack of affordability of that private coverage as the need to enroll.
In Road Privatization: Explaining the Trend, Assessing the Facts, and Protecting the Public, U.S. PIRG analyzes how Wall Street investors are promoting deals to privatize our nation's transportation infrastructure, yet such proposals ignore the loss of democratic control and long-term budget costs of such privatization. The report lays out principles for states to use to govern such deals, including requiring fair budget paybacks, deals no longer than 30 years, complete transparency and fuller accountability.
The federal "Internet Tax Freedom Act", which comes up for renewal this year, was designed to preempt local and state governments from taxing Internet services on the argument that taxes would undermine Internet access. Yet, as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) argues in a new report, the states who already had such taxes and were "grandfathered in" had broadband deployment no lower than the states without such taxes. And other countries with such taxes actually have far greater rates of broadband deployment. As CBPP argues, depriving state and local governments of the these funds may be undermining their efforts to pay for changes that could overcome the digital divide in their states.
With the first full Census figures out on New Orleans post-Katrina, the Brookings Institutition finds that the black population has declined by 57%, while its white population decreased by 36%, reflecting the general problem that the poorest residents were the most likely to be driven out of the city.
The 2007 Employer Health Benefits Survey, released on Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust shows that employee premiums continue to outpace wages and inflation, with the cost of family coverage topping $12,000. Despite the increases, employees continue to resist consumer-driven health plans, which typically have lower premiums but higher deductibles and other cost-sharing, showing that employees prefer value to lower costs. These plans have made few gains in the employer-provided health care market.