Healthcare and public services

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    When planning healthcare reforms, policymakers should remember that bankruptcy can act as an implicit form of health insurance.

When planning healthcare reforms, policymakers should remember that bankruptcy can act as an implicit form of health insurance.

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For many in the US, the ability to file for bankruptcy can act as a form of health insurance, as households who already have little to lose can rely on them. In new research, Youngsoo Jang models different potential healthcare reforms, and finds that those which provide young and low-income households with more access to healthcare services are more […]

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    Why we should blame elected officials, not interest groups, for spiraling state government spending and debts 

Why we should blame elected officials, not interest groups, for spiraling state government spending and debts 

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Interest groups on both sides of the political aisle are often blamed for government’s ills, including rising budget deficits and debts. But in new research which studies interest group influence in the American states, Thomas T. Holyoke finds that while the number of interest groups in most states is growing, their influence is negative when there is a high level of […]

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    Democrats are more likely to support funding opioid treatment programs compared to Republicans, but both are opposed to building clinics nearby.

Democrats are more likely to support funding opioid treatment programs compared to Republicans, but both are opposed to building clinics nearby.

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In new research, Justin de Benedictis-Kessner and Michael Hankinson find that financial self-interest means that Democrats and low-income Republicans are generally more open to paying more taxes to fund opioid treatment programs. But why, then is there a shortage of opioid treatment clinics in many American communities? In their survey research, the authors also determine that both Republicans and […]

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    Creating a virtual Nebraska shows that eliminating a state legislative chamber doesn’t help rein in spending

Creating a virtual Nebraska shows that eliminating a state legislative chamber doesn’t help rein in spending

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Nebraska has the distinction of being the only US state to be governed by a unicameral – or single chamber – state legislature. In new research, William B. Hankins examines whether – through a potential reduction in duplication – the move from two to one chamber in the 1930s had any effect on state government spending. By creating a […]

A free market for medical care? It’s been tried

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Alternative medical practitioners and Jacksonian populists found common cause in an open market for medicine, write Jacob Habinek and Heather A. Haveman.

Even the most open of market economies accepts professional monopolies. Clients hand over decision-making to doctors and lawyers based on reputations for expert knowledge and reliable practice. And governments protect professionals against competition from frauds as well as […]

Single payer builds immunity to opioid crises

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All countries now have a decade to achieve both universal health coverage and to prevent and treat substance abuse under the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Katherine Pettus argues that adopting a single-payer public health system is likely to be the only way to achieve these targets. Government procurement agencies, she writes, will also need to overcome the […]

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    Book Review: Healthy or Sick? Coevolution of Health Care and Public Health in a Comparative Perspective by Philipp Trein

Book Review: Healthy or Sick? Coevolution of Health Care and Public Health in a Comparative Perspective by Philipp Trein

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In Healthy or Sick? Coevolution of Health Care and Public Health in a Comparative Perspective, Philipp Trein examines the coevolution of policies to prevent diseases (public health) and policies aimed at curing illnesses (healthcare) through a comparative historical analysis of Australia, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the US. This is a much-needed contribution to the field, finds Michael Warren, providing a […]

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    The GOP’s “supply-side” abortion bans won’t work and will have dire consequences for women’s health

The GOP’s “supply-side” abortion bans won’t work and will have dire consequences for women’s health

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Lawmakers in many conservative-states have recently passed a tranche of far-reaching bills aimed at restricting abortion. Alex Keena argues that such “supply-side” measures to prevent abortion are unlikely to be effective, as they will do little to reduce the number of women who get abortions. Instead of being able to access abortion in their home states, he writes, women […]

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    In the US, preferences for more or less generous social policies are personal

In the US, preferences for more or less generous social policies are personal

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Heading into the 2020 presidential election, many policy debates surround measures which would help to address economic insecurity, such as Medicare-for-All and higher minimum wage laws. In new research, Mallory E. Compton and Christine S. Lipsmeyer look into what drives voters to support more government spending on one such policy – unemployment insurance. They find that when the economy […]

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    The curse of slavery has left an intergenerational legacy of trauma and poor health for African Americans

The curse of slavery has left an intergenerational legacy of trauma and poor health for African Americans

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African Americans experience much higher rates of poverty, unemployment, and negative health outcomes compared to Whites in the US. Michael J Halloran writes that the intergenerational cultural trauma caused by 300 years of slavery – alongside poor economic circumstances and social prejudice – has led to the poor state of physical, psychological and social health among African Americans.

In his […]

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