Research Roundup: The Need for Health Care Reform, Protecting Labor Agreements in NY, and Responding to Right-Wing Media Stories

The Need for Health Care Reform:

  • More Bang for the Health Care Buck - Insurance companies waste large portions of premiums paid on inefficient administration, billing and marketing — instead of medical care for their enrollees — contributing to high health care costs, according to this CalPIRG study.  The study recommends that states require health plans and insurance companies to spend at least 85 percent of revenue dollars on health care.
  • Efficiency and Quality: The Role of Controlling Health Care Cost Growth in Health Care Reform - This Center for American Progress study emphasizes that  a government-mandated health care program that expands the number of people with coverage provides an ideal opportunity to address spending growth.
  • Health Reform: The Cost of Failure - This Urban Institute study outlines the increasing strain on business owners and their employees over the next decade if health care is not significantly overhauled, as employer coverage declines and costs to taxpayers increase as Medicaid/CHIP enrollment expands.

Project Labor Agreements in New York State: In the Public Interest- This study by the Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations finds that agreements to set wages, benefits and working conditions before launching large public works projects help save taxpayers money, reduces the risk of shoddy work or costly disruptions, and promotes a stronger economy through higher wage standards.

Where Have All of Maryland’s Millionaires Gone? Nowhere — They’re Probably Just Not Millionaires Anymore - Responding to rightwing media stories arguing that declines in tax revenues in Maryland were due to passage of increased taxes of the wealthy in that states, this Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) brief points out what should be obvious: massive declines in the stock market means a lot of formerly wealthy people now no longer as wealthy. In fact, even as the number of tax returns by those making a $1 million or more declined, the number of those making over $500,000 increased by far more than that loss-- indicating that many people saw their income losses push them into a lower tax bracket.