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Maine

Big PhRMA and Marketing Prescription Drugs

Marketing experts will tell you that a doctor is one of the most trusted professionals when it comes to public credibility in advertising.  This holds true for their peers as well.

Universal Health Care's Next Steps - PA & IL Plans

Illinois gained headlines in 2005 for its first-in-the-nation plan to provide health care for all children in the state, called AllKids.  Pennsylvania followed suit in 2006 with its own Cover All Kids plan.  Now the Governors of each state have proposed comprehensive health care reform packages with the goal of universal access to health care.  The plans build on reforms in Maine, Vermont and Massachusetts, but go further in key areas of affordability and system reform.

Ex-Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration

Nearly 650,000 people are released from state and federal prison every year, with larger numbers reentering communities from local jails. Over 50 percent of those released from incarceration are sent back to prison for a parole violation or new crime within 3 years.

Beating the drug industry at its own game

Pharmaceutical companies spend $11.4 billion each year on marketing.  Much of that is spent on salespeople, known as "detailers", who visit doctor's offices to pitch the latest drugs, in order to increase prescriptions for their company's products-- usually at the expense of older, cheaper, and often more effective drugs. 

Making Legislative Pay Match the Workload

One of the most politically challenging, and politically assailable, decisions a legislator can make is a vote increasing legislative pay.  Yet, with legislative pay a mere pittance in most states, increasing it is necessary to prevent wealth from becoming a prerequisite to hold public office.

Report: US Joins Lesotho and Swaziland with Worst Policies for Families

To the embarassment of a country with leaders that bill themselves as supporting "family values," a new report by the Project on Global Working Families finds that US federal policies are some of the least supportive of families in the world. 

WA: Evergreen State Aims for Clean Elections

Washington State legislators are doing a one-two-three punch to get big money out of election campaigns.  House Bill 1360, Senate Bill 5278  and Senate Bill 5226 were introduced in January to adopt public financing for campaigns. 

Crossroads for Health Care Reform in Maine

Two years into Maine's DirigoChoice insurance program, designed to expand access to health insurance to Maine's uninsured individuals and small businesses, the state is grappling with how to fund the program. While the program's governing board recently voted to assess a controversial assessment paid by insurers and self-insured companies, a separate Governor's Blue Ribbon Commission has proposed alternative funding that relieves insurers of their responsibility to help fund the program. Instead of keeping insurers, hospitals, and large businesses at the table through "pay or play" or "fair share" initiatives and enhanced cost containment, the Commission wants to replace the insurer assessment with general fund revenue raised on the backs of consumers.

Renewable Portfolio Standards Across the States

State governments are not waiting on D.C. to develop an energy independence policy for their states. Instead, almost half the states have taken the lead on promoting and utilizing renewable energy.

Keeping Children in State After Graduation

Commission members in Wisconsin are floating an idea that is almost groundbreaking in its simplicity: a free college education for the state's students in exchange for a commitment to remain in state for a set period of time. If the student ends up reneging on the deal, they pay the cost of their education.