How Dumb Does Senator Toomey Think We Are?

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I’m not just a practitioner of political rhetoric, but also a connoisseur of it. I can appreciate a good argument and a well-turned phrase put forward by our ideological opponents. And, rather than get disturbed by what the other side says, I take their best work as a challenge. But what truly does get me angry is when our opponents not only lie, but do so with arguments that are insulting to the intelligence of the people we are trying to influence – the citizens of Pennsylvania and America.

State As Well As Federal Republicans Go After Medicaid

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At both the state and federal level, Republican Party leaders seem to be on the warpath against Medicaid. Thankfully, rank and file Republicans in both legislatures and the public seem to be pushing back against them, as long, bi-partisan support for Medicaid continues.

The Republicans Of My Youth Didn't Encourage Vice

Note: This is the second of two pieces on the Republicans of my youth..

Part II: Encouraging Vice

The Republicans of my youth were not only men of fiscal rectitude, they were men of moral rectitude. I can’t say what they did in private. I’m sure some of them drank from time to time and some drank too much. They probably also gambled from time to time either on a trip to Las Vegas or at the local trotter track, or maybe with a local bookie. But in public they frowned on these vices. They believed that people had a right to make their own choices, but they believed that government had a responsibility to direct people away from behavior that could be dangerous to themselves or others.

The Republicans of My Youth Didn't Borrow to Balance Budgets

First of two pieces of why I miss the Repbulicans of my yout. 

There are times when I miss the old-fashioned Republicans of my youth, in the small-town America in which I grew up, about 40 miles over the Pennsylvania border in rural New York. Those mostly Protestant Republicans were the bankers, the insurance agents, the ministers, as well as many of the older doctors and lawyers. They didn’t like taxes. But they believed in the common good – in schools and parks and good sidewalks. In roads and bridges, in water system and sewers.

First Look at the 2017-18 State Budget

While we will need some time to analyze the details of the budget that the House and Senate will pass today, our preliminary view is that it is, as we had expected from the beginning of the year, an austere budget that does not really address the deep public investment deficit of the state, but it certainly could have been far worse. Given that the General Assembly seems utterly unwilling to raise revenues to meet public needs, negotiations by the leaders of the legislature and Governor Wolf have led to a budget that still takes some small steps forward.

The State System of Higher Education: Pennsylvania’s Mobility Workhorses

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Pennsylvania’s 14 State System of Higher Education Universities are instrumental to economic opportunity in Pennsylvania. They afford a large number of middle- and working-class Pennsylvanians an affordable shot at the American Dream of upward mobility.

Our analysis of data from the Mobility Report Cards finds that 41% of State System students from 1999 to 2004 were working-class students with family incomes that placed them in the bottom 60% of households. As a point of comparison, in the state’s 10 most elite universities just 18% of students come from the bottom 60% (more than 2/3 come from the top 20%).

MEMO: Effects of U.S. Senate Health Care Bill on Pennsylvania

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MEMO

To: Interested Parties

From: Marc Stier, Director, Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center

Date: June 28, 2017

Re: Effects of U.S. Senate Health Care Bill on Pennsylvania


The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center will be releasing a number of briefs on the effects of the U.S. Senate health care bill in the next few days. You can see our initial statement in response to the CBO scoring of the bill here. Below is our first brief on the effects of the bill on Pennsylvania.

STATEMENT: PBPC On the CBO Report for the Senate Health Care Bill

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Marc Stier, Director of the PA Budget and Policy Center, made the following statement following today's release of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report on the U.S. Senate GOP Health Care Bill (Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017)

It’s official — the Senate health care bill is not an improvement but actually worse for Americans than the House bill. The CBO analysis released today holds that 22 million fewer Americans will be insured in 2026 as a result of the Better Care Reconciliation Act. That is slightly better than the House bill.

Which Direction for America? What's at Stake in the Health Care Debate?

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One of the fascinating / distressing things about the health care debate on Facebook is that it's bringing the truth out in a way that the debate in the Senate is not.

If you have any doubt that this is a inflection point in our history, in which the forces of tolerance, compassion and justice are arrayed against the forces of bigotry, greed, and injustice, look at what the opponents of the ACA are saying.

Guest Blog Post from Kristen Dama: Why We Can't Go Back to Life Before the ACA

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Kristen Dama is an attorney at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. She works on human service issues. This moving story of what life was like before the ACA tells us why it is so important to save it. If you want to really help, contact Robin Stelly at [email protected] and tell her you want to join a phone bank to help contact Senators who may be convinced to vote against the legislation that repeals the ACA and devastates Medicaid.

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