May 5, 2017

Contextual Healing

The Manhattan Institute’s Economics 21 project has a great synthesis of  the debate about pre-existing conditions. With the U.S. Senate set to consider the American Health Care Act, the brief provides an easily digestible outline of the options. The article highlights the four basic approaches and then succinctly discusses each one. Here are the options according to the article:

  1. Leave sick people to face the costs of their own treatment, whether out of pocket or through high-cost insurance, no matter how ruinous those costs become.
  2. Mandate that other, healthier people overpay for the value of their own health insurance, so that sick people can underpay for the value of theirs.
  3. Spread the costs of paying expensive health bills throughout society, for example by having taxpayers pick up the tab.
  4. Require a targeted group to shoulder the costs.

The Next Evolution

National League of Cities released its What You Should Know 2.0 report on economic development geared towards elected officials.  The report is a primer with a clear framework of economic development and several good city-based case studies. We found the section outlining economic data points for cities (p. 18) particularly interesting. 

A New Slant

The Congressional Budget Office published a study comparing wages of federal and private sector employees from 2010-15. The bottom line: in less educated job classifications federal workers earn more than comparable private sector classifications. Here are a few statistical highlights:

  • Among workers whose education culminated in a bachelor’s degree, the cost of total compensation averaged 21 percent more for federal workers than for similar workers in the private sector.
  • Among workers with a high school diploma or less education, total compensation costs averaged 53 percent more for federal employees than for their private-sector counterparts.
  • Total compensation costs among workers with a professional degree or doctorate, by contrast, were 18 percent lower for federal employees than for similar private-sector employees, on average.

The Other 49

The Aspen Institute Ascend project published a findings brief of the Community Action Project of of Tulsa County (CAP Tulsa). The project is a two-generation intervention that pairs early childhood education for children with career pathway training in the healthcare sector for parents. While the methodology that led to the results is not clear, the baseline data seems compelling: parents in the program achieved educational goals at a significantly higher rate than the control group and ultimately reached target employment goals at a higher rate. This is a model to keep an eye on and consider for application in North Carolina.