Posts by marc stier

The New Version of the GOP Health Care Bill is Even Worse Than The Last One

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Having failed to enact a plan that would lead 24 million Americans and 1.1 million in PA to lose health insurance, the House Republicans have returned with a new amendment, proposed by Representative Tom MacArthur (R-NJ), which would lead to larger losses.

Health Care Again

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Health Care Again

News reports indicate that, as many of us had feared, the Republicans in Congress and President Trump have not given up on their effort on health care, not only to repeal and replace the ACA but to institute a per capita cap on Medicaid spending.

The new plan, as we will explain in a moment, is even worse than the last one. But before we get to the details, we need to stop and ask, “why are we here again?” Knowing the answer to that question is critical to understanding what the Republicans propose.

Facts, Not Hysteria, About the Soda Tax

Co-authored by Diana Polson.

The reaction of the beverage industry to the Philadelphia soda tax continues to be self-centered, hysterical, and dubious.

Before looking at their claims, let’s keep in mind something very important: every tax has some negative consequences for some businesses. And, yes, it is a shame if some business absorbs some costs and a few people lose jobs as a result. But public policy has to be driven by the consequences for all of us. So, the question is not whether an individual business is hurt by the Philadelphia soda tax, but whether the city and its citizens benefit on the whole. We think the answer is clearly yes, not just because of the investment in Pre-K education and community recreation centers made possible by this tax, but because of the health and economic benefits of reduced soda consumption.

The (Wholly Inadequate) GOP Budget Proposal (HB 218)

The House Republican Budget proposal for 2017-2017 is deeply problematic in six respects. 

First, the proposal does not close the state’s budget deficit, but leaves a gap of close to $800 million. Most of the revenue ideas presented by the House Republican Caucus to fill that gap are similar to the one-time revenues and fund transfers that have failed to fix our structural deficit in the past. The Republicans do not seem to be considering any proposal to increase recurring revenues by fixing our upside-down tax system.

A Teachable Moment in the PLCB Debate

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Those of us who have been parents or teachers often talk about “teachable moments.” Teachable moments occur when something problematic happens from which we can learn some important lesson.

The bills being considered today to privatize the operations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) give us teachable moments — moments that might help people understand why we cannot simply privatize the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board without the state losing $300-400 million per year in General Fund Revenues.

Essential Benefits Are... Essential

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The ACA repeal effort failed in the House on Thursday. But it will be voted on today. 

And the bill keeps getting worse and worse — and that one particular way in which it got worse today may ultimately kill it, even if it passes the House today. 

recent report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, points to some of the ways the bill that emerged on Thursday morning deepens cuts to health care:

Health care must be provided communally

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This piece originally ran in Newsworks on January 26, 2017. You can find the original here

Every once in a while, when I write something in defense of the Affordable Care Act, or point out, as the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center recent reported, that repealing it will lead 1.1 million Pennsylvanians to lose their insurance and 3,425 to die each year as a result, someone comments, “I pay for my own health insurance. Why should I pay taxes for anyone else’s?”

New Report Confirms Assumptions About PA Coverage Losses Under GOP Health Care Plan

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A new study from the Center for America Progress estimates that 970,000 fewer Pennsylvanians will have health insurance if the GOP health care plan is adopted by Congress. The study also provides detailed estimates for how many fewer people will be covered by Congressional district for each kind of health insurance (traditional Medicaid, Medicaid expansion, marketplace, and employer-based insurance.)

Analysis of Effects of House GOP Health Care Plan on Pennsylvania

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The following is an analysis of how the recently-released House GOP proposal, the "American Health Care Act," would affect Pennsylvanians:

The health care legislation introduced by the House Republicans late yesterday is a devastating and dishonest attack on not only the Affordable Care Act, but on the Medicaid program. When fully implemented, it will have horrible consequences not only for the health of low- and moderate- income Pennsylvanians, but on long-term care for all but our wealthiest senior citizens.

We will be providing a thorough analysis of the legislation soon. But our preliminary analysis suggests that when the program is fully implemented, around 1 million low- and moderate- income Pennsylvanians will lose health insurance; the state budget will lose at least $2.5 to $3 billion in funding; at least 60,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their jobs, and over 4,000 Pennsylvanians per year will die prematurely.

Early Returns Look Good in Philadelphia's Nation-leading Fight for a Soda Tax

I wasn't surprised by the substantial revenues that the soda tax is bringing in, even while there is some reason to believe that soda consumption is down in the city, as we predicted it would be.