Healthcare and public services

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    What Happened?: ‘Mayor Pete’ Buttigieg has embraced the idea that infrastructure policy can bring about social change.

What Happened?: ‘Mayor Pete’ Buttigieg has embraced the idea that infrastructure policy can bring about social change.

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The position of Secretary of Transportation typically has a much lower profile compared to other US Cabinet positions. But it still has power and influence and is now at the centre of President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. Emanuele Monaco writes that the new Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, will use the office to help Joe Biden fix […]

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    Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is ambitious, but unlikely to pass without compromises with Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill is ambitious, but unlikely to pass without compromises with Republicans and moderate Democrats.

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Last week, President Joe Biden announced an ambitious infrastructure plan that he hopes will form the basis of his next major legislative achievement. The $2.3 trillion proposal would devote money toward upgrading America’s roads, bridges, and airports, but also contains other, more controversial provisions that critics say Washington can’t afford. In this Q&A, Thomas Gift examines what the bill […]

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    Why Republican-voting states began with better COVID-19 outcomes but were hit harder as the pandemic unfolded.

Why Republican-voting states began with better COVID-19 outcomes but were hit harder as the pandemic unfolded.

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Although COVID-19 has affected the entire United States, a careful look at the data shows persistent differences across the country. As with other infectious diseases, COVID-19 has thrived in the densest areas. Locations with more vulnerable populations have also suffered disproportionately. How the disease has spread across the US has had important political consequences. Klaus Desmet and Romain Wacziarg […]

How neoliberal dogma has prolonged the COVID-19 pandemic

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After a year of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread vaccination programs may signal that its end is in sight for many countries. But, writes Vicente Navarro, the pandemic could have been resolved much more quickly, vaccine shortages avoided, and fewer lives lost to COVID-19, had national governments not only financed vaccine development, but taken on its production as […]

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    COVID-19 vaccination programmes are showcasing the merits of digital healthcare

COVID-19 vaccination programmes are showcasing the merits of digital healthcare

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The global effort to implement Covid-19 vaccination programmes poses substantial logistical challenges. Shane Markowitz argues the early evidence from successful vaccination rollouts highlights the value of digital healthcare approaches.   

As the Covid-19 vaccine rollout steadily gains steam globally, a wider range of groups are becoming eligible for inoculation. Yet confusion and frustration are rampant, with governments encountering logistical obstacles in reaching populations and […]

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    Americans are divided on Medicaid work requirements, but it depends on recipients’ circumstances

Americans are divided on Medicaid work requirements, but it depends on recipients’ circumstances

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This week the Biden administration requested a halt to a Trump-era Supreme Court challenge to state Medicaid work requirements. But how do Americans feel about work requirements for Medicaid recipients? In new research, Simon F. Haeder, Steven Sylvester and Timothy H. Callaghan find that while Americans are split in their support or opposition to Medicaid work requirements, public opinion […]

Myopic self-interest restricts access to COVID-19 vaccines

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COVID-19 vaccination presents a picture of inequality: about 51% of the world’s vaccines are in the hands of 14% of the global population. Between and within countries, the distribution of vaccines has reflected existing racial and socioeconomic hierarchies rather than allocations that would maximise collective social welfare. Many countries see this as a contest. As a result, ‘winners’ order […]

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    What US policymakers can learn from how the EU tackles poverty among single-parent families  

What US policymakers can learn from how the EU tackles poverty among single-parent families  

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Nearly a quarter of children in the US live in a single-parent family, and a substantial number of these families experience in-work and unemployment-related poverty. Amanda Sheely and Laurie Maldonado look at what lessons US policymakers can learn from the European Union to improve the lives of single parents, such as supporting them back into employment where possible and introducing policies which support the roles of both parents.

The situation of single […]

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    Transparency about risks and consistent messaging may reduce vaccine scepticism

Transparency about risks and consistent messaging may reduce vaccine scepticism

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Perceptions of government inaction or political interference with trials and regulatory approval may foster doubts about safety, write Barry Eichengreen, Cevat Giray Aksoy and Orkun Saka.

Monday, 9 November brought welcome news from Pfizer about the successful Phase 3 trial of what appears to be a 90 per cent effective COVID-19 vaccine. Stock markets reacted with elation, seeming to declare […]

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    Book Review: Kept From All Contagion: Germ Theory, Disease, and the Dilemma of Human Contact in Late Nineteenth-Century Literature by Kari Nixon

Book Review: Kept From All Contagion: Germ Theory, Disease, and the Dilemma of Human Contact in Late Nineteenth-Century Literature by Kari Nixon

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In Kept From All Contagion: Germ Theory, Disease, and the Dilemma of Human Contact in Late Nineteenth-Century Literature, Kari Nixon offers a new literary history exploring how late-nineteenth-century authors represented the conflict between the risk of contagion and vital social contact in a period which saw germ theory rise to public prominence. This is a skilled literary analysis for our time, […]

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