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Research Roundup: Health care, budget crisis, minimum wage, transportation, New Americans, higher education
Austin Guest on July 30, 2009 - 11:29am
Doctors Speak Out for Health Reform - "Health Care Reform: 450,000 Doctors Can't be Wrong" - The American Academy of Family Physicians and Herndon Alliance have produced a video featuring family doctors speaking out for reform. The doctors’ voice for health care reform is an important one for the public to hear. In this video, doctors discuss the challenges they face in providing quality of care imposed by the status quo. Doctors affirm that the reform being discussed is in the best interest of America's families and physicians: that it will help provide for quality care at affordable costs.
“I spend 40 percent of my time away from my patients doing paperwork and getting prior authorizations,” said Jim King, MD, a family physician in Selmer, Tenn. “We need to start taking the barriers that are between me and my patients away.”
Visit "Health Health Care Now" to learn more about and work with this campaign of more than 450,000 doctors advocating Congress to act on bold, comprehensive health reform - including a call-in effort to your congressperson - Heal Health Care Now.
New reports from Families USA on the health care reform bills moving through Congress:
- 10 Reasons to Support the Health Care Reform Bills provides a quick rundown of the most exciting provisions in the health reform bills pending in Congress.(July 2009) http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/10-reasons-to-support-reform.pdf
- Coverage for America: We All Stand to Gain provides state-by-state estimates of how many people will gain coverage under the House health reform bill, known as America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/coverage-for-america.pdf
- The Clock Is Ticking: More Americans Losing Health Coverage provides the first ever state-by-state data on the number of people who may lose health coverage between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2010. Numbers are broken down per week, per month, and per year. http://www.familiesusa.org/assets/pdfs/health-reform/clock-is-ticking.pdf
Reports on the recovery plan and the fiscal crisis in the states:
Show Us the Stimulus: An Evaluation of State Government Recovery Act Websites - This Good Jobs First report, including Summary Scores and Rankings for each state, examines the quality and quantity of disclosure by official state websites on the many ways ARRA funding is flowing through state governments to communities, organizations and individuals. Six states (MD, CO, WA, WV, NY and PA) scored 50 or better for their main ARRA site while the top states in reporting highway spending were MD, WA, CO and NE.
- The Landscape of Recession: Unemployment and Safety Net Services Across Urban and Suburban America - In examining the impact of the current recession on the cities and suburbs of the country’s major metro areas, this Brookings Institution report reveals that, more so than the last recession, suburbs—particularly newer, lower-density exurbs—are feeling the negative effects of this downturn alongside cities.
- New Fiscal Year Brings No Relief From Unprecedented State Budget Problems - With an unusually high number of states still struggling to adopt budgets for fiscal year 2010, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities state have struggled to address shortfalls of $163 billion (24% of state budgets) and at least 33 states anticipate deficits for the 2011 fiscal year of $51 billion or 13 percent of budgets. The report highlights individual state budget gaps and the mid-year gaps some now face.
Two new reports on the minimum wage:
- Minimum wage workers: better educated, worse compensated - This Economic Policy Institute snapshot highlights how the inflation-adjusted value of the federal minimum wage has declined substantially in the last thirty years, even as the percentage of minimum wage workers with a high school education has increased from 57.5% to 71.9%
- Restoring the Minimum Wage for America's Tipped Workers - Even as many low-wage workers saw an increase in the federal minium wage this month, tipped workers didn't see the full increase, as outlined in this report by the National Employment Law Project. The report outlines needed reforms including raising the tipped worker minimum wage, protecting such workers against "tip stealing" and protect higher minimum wages for tipped workers in the states that provide higher wages for tipped workers.
Health Care Premiums Run Amok: The Cost of Doing Nothing About the Health Care Crisis - Health care costs are expected to grow 71 percent over the next decade, finds the Center for American Progress in this study, which will in turn drive premium increases for health insurance, unless significant reform of our health care system is undertaken.
The Transportation Prescription: Bold New Ideas for Healthy, Equitable Transportation Reform in America - Looking at the intersection of transportation, health and equity, this report by PolicyLink and the Prevention Institute argues that encouraging and funding healthy and environmentally responsible transportation options like buses, light rail, subways, biking, and walking in low-income communities and communities of color can expand health care access and lower health disparities.
Reshaping the Advocacy Direction on Poverty Reduction: Bridging Individual and Community Strategies - This study by the Child and Family Policy Center and the Northwest Area Foundation argues for state level policies combining enhancing job skills for low-income individuals with promoting economic development and revitalizing poor neighborhoods as the key to addressing poverty.
New Americans in the Buckeye State - The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that Ohio's immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an integral part of the state's economy and tax base. With 4% of the state's population, the purchasing power of Ohio's Asians totaled $7.1 billion and Latino buying power totaled $6.1 billion in 2008, while Asian-owned businesses in the state generated sales and receipts worth more than $5.1 billion annually and Latino-owned businesses generated $1.3 billion in 2002.
Defending Human Rights: Abortion Providers Facing Threats, Restrictions, and Harassment - This first installment of a video series by the Center for Reproductive Rights documents the real stories of abortion providers, clinic employees and patients who have faced harassment and blockades at clinics, even as the threat of murder hangs over their heads in the wage of the killing of Dr George Tiller in Kansas.
Losing by Degrees: Rising Costs and Public Disinvestment in Higher Education - This Economic Opportunity Institute report highlights how cuts in state funding and corresponding tuition hikes in Washington State are likely to drive down applications from low-income and minority students despite increased financial aid; and middle-income graduates are taking on more debt to pay for school- harming the long-term economic competitiveness of the state.