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Implementing Health Reform and Gains to the Public, Clean Energy and Job Creation, and More

Implementing Health Reform and Gains to the Public

  • Delivering on the Promise: A State Guide to the Next Steps for Health Care Reform - To help states design state programs to implement health reform, this U.S. PIRG guide has been written to assist state policymakers and advocates as they engage with the numerous issues and opportunities presented by the new federal law. The report includes recommendations on implement state health exchanges, lowering costs and improving quality, consumer protections and moving beyond federal minimum requirements to address additional issues such as encouraging group bargaining with providers and creating a state-level public option.
  • Medicaid Expansion in Health Reform Not Likely to “Crowd Out” Private Insurance -  Contrary to claims by some critics, this report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that the Medicaid expansion in the new health reform law will overwhelmingly provide coverage to people who otherwise would be uninsured, rather than shift people who already have private coverage to Medicaid.
  • Health Reform Helps Millions with Chronic Conditions -- This interactive map by the Center on American Progress shows state-by-state prevalence of asthma, diabetes, and high blood pressure, highlighting the group of Americans who will now be assured under the new federal health reform law that they cannot be denied coverage.

State of America’s Cities Survey on Jobs and the Economy -  Despite upticks in some measures of national economic recovery, new data from the National League of Cities indicates that declining fiscal and economic conditions persist in America’s cities.  More than six in 10 (63%) city officials report that poverty has worsened over the past year.  Even as employment drops in the private sector,  seven in ten city officials report having to make cuts to personnel (71%) and delaying or cancelling capital projects (68%).

Funding Career Pathways and Career Pathway Bridges: A Federal Policy Toolkit for States - As an alternative to education and training programs that often do little to help low-skilled, low-income adults and youth, many states, however, are adopting a career pathways approach—a combination of education and training services—to enable students to advance over time to higher levels of education and employment. This toolkit by the Center for Law and Social Policy helps states identify federal resources to design and develop career pathway approaches.

Clean Energy and Job Creation

  • China's Clean Energy Push: Evaluating the Implications for American Competitiveness - Based on site visits by Center for American Progress staff and U.S. Senate staff members, this fact sheet summarizes their evaluation of China’s gains in  clean energy economic development strategy and the need for the U.S. and American states to move aggressively to articulate our own clean energy strategy.  The report finds China is instituting long-term targets for clean energy market creation, investing in needed infrastructure, providing the financial and human capital to fuel industry growth and promoting innovation through expanded R&D investments.
  • The Impact of Coal on the West Virginia State Budget - The coal industry costs the state of West Virginia more than it provides in taxes due to taxpayer subsidy of road repair and other costs, according to a new report released today by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, Downstream Strategies and the Sierra Club.  The report responds to repeated arguments that the state depends on the coal industry for revenue, but instead argues that the state should conduct a comprehensive discussion on how to work toward a more sustainable economy.
  • A Pathway to Clean Jobs and Prosperity: State Policies For Helping Low-Income Working Families Build Clean Energy Careers -  This policy brief from The Working Poor Families Project examines how the "clean energy" economy has the potential to bring renewed prosperity to working families and create high quality, middle-skill jobs. It also outlines how targeted state government policies can increase opportunities for skill development, raise wages and ensure employer commitment to hiring low-income, disadvantaged workers.

Public Opinion and the Power of Money is Politics

  • Protecting Democracy From Unlimited Corporate Spending - This new polling by People For the American Way shows that Americans of every political stripe resoundingly reject the Roberts Court's dangerous decision in Citizens United v. FEC, which opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate cash in our elections. Three-quarters of voters said that they support a constitutional amendment to limit the amount that corporations can spend in elections. A similar supermajority are more inclined to support a candidate who has spoken out in favor of such an amendment.  The anti-corporate sentiment in the poll is underlined by the fact that 85% of voters say that corporations have too much influence over the political system today while 93% say that average citizens have too little influence.
  • The Efficacy of Self-Funding a Political Campaign - This report by the National Institute on Money in State Politics finds that self-funded candidates were elected at a much lower rate than candidates who raised money from other sources. Examining the 6,171 candidates who provided most of their own campaign contributions during the years 2000 through 2009 -- comprising 8 percent of all candidates --  the report found these candidates contributed $700 million dollars to their own campaigns, a significant portion of the $849.4 million total they raised.  Yet these candidates were elected 55 percent of the time--a significantly lower rate than the 87 percent success rate for the top-fundraising candidates who were not significantly self-financed.