Public Policy

  • King V. Burwell — A Perspective From Policy Affairs Director, John Barkett

    On June 25th, the Supreme Court handed down a much-anticipated decision on the King v. Burwell case. The case, which concerned the status of subsidies for individuals purchasing plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), would either reaffirm subsidies for plans on the federal exchange or eliminate them. The case was based […]

  • Mitch McConnell Would Have Vetoed Keystone if He Were President

    The President has been crystal clear that infrastructure is more than a pipeline from Canada. He also believes that he has already been given the right to determine which pipelines get approved without interference from Congress. And, in Washington, you don’t really give up your chips unless you get what you want. President Obama made […]

  • Health Care Practitioners Say Beverage Tax Has Potential To Reduce Obesity In United States; Voters Remain Divided

    A poll of 754 physicians and other health care practitioners, taken at the annual conference of the Academy for Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) on October 30, revealed that 55 percent believe a tax on sugar-laden beverages will reduce obesity in the United States. While few would argue that drinking drinks with large amounts of […]

  • Republican Congressman Dave Camp to Oil & Gas Industries: “No More Subsidies”

    Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-Michigan) tax reform bill introduced on February 26th removed all subsidies for oil, gas, coal, renewables, and other energy technologies. So, what led to a conservative congressman killing subsidies for oil and gas? Some recent history: in 2011, the environmentalists Friends of the Earth and Public Citizen partnered with climate […]

  • Jimmy Carter’s 1977 Unpleasant Energy Talk, No Longer Unpleasant

    On April 18, 1977, President Jimmy Carter addressed the American people by saying, “Tonight I want to have an unpleasant talk with you about a problem unprecedented in our history. With the exception of preventing war, this is the greatest challenge our country will face during our lifetimes. The energy crisis has not yet overwhelmed us, but […]

  • On the Public Health Insurance Marketplaces: November 2013

    In November, President Obama reversed a controversial provision of the Affordable Care Act, making good on his “if you like your plan, you can keep it” promise by allowing extensions for plans that otherwise would be cancelled under the ACA’s requirements. While some states have rejected the offer to extend plans, many have approved the […]

  • On the Public Health Insurance Marketplaces: October 2013

    Federal officials, state representatives, nonprofit organizers, and uninsured individuals alike waited with baited breath for the October 1st rollout of public health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act. Now that we’ve let out that collective breath, let’s look back on the first month and learn what it meant for the states. All 34 states […]

  • Can The Internet Change How We Buy Health Care?

    It’s changed how we’ve consumed nearly every other service. Once health-care reform comes into effect, how will the web change how we deal with insurance companies? The Internet has enabled cost-slashing innovations in many markets–but not in the health care industry.  What makes health care so different? To start, the number of people who pay […]

  • Pittsburgh Renaissance: Opportunity For A Third

    In 1963, the mortgage rate was at about 6 percent and your banker knew you, your family, probably even your grandmother. What reminded me of 1963 and the interest rate at the time is a blog post by John G. Craig Jr., former editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In it, Craig referenced “Portrait of a Region,” a four-volume […]

  • On the Public Health Insurance Marketplaces: September 2013

    Much happened in the month leading up to the October 1st launch of public exchanges. Here is an overview of some of the notable events and announcements made by the states around the launch of their health insurance exchanges in the month of September: Outreach efforts continued as states running their own exchanges and states […]