Healthcare and public services

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    How a patchwork of state taxes contributes to menstrual inequity in the US

How a patchwork of state taxes contributes to menstrual inequity in the US

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Federalism in the United States means that many policies are the responsibility of individual states rather than, or in addition to, the federal government. Shyam K. Sriram, Stacy Cavanaugh, Annie Faulkner, and Mackenzie Winchester-Daniel take a close look at state tax policies on menstrual products, finding that 26 states still impose such taxes, though many have tried and failed […]

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    Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is good policy – and good politics

Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill is good policy – and good politics

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The Senate is set to pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill with bipartisan support. In this Q&A, Julie Norman explains what’s in the bill, what it means for Biden, and what’s next for Democrats – who are also pushing another infrastructure bill.
What’s included in the bipartisan infrastructure bill? 
The $1.2 trillion bipartisan bill – which is set to be voted […]

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    Social vs market value: how much is a COVID-19 vaccine worth?

Social vs market value: how much is a COVID-19 vaccine worth?

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Vaccine uptake protects individuals and societies, but how much is the COVID-19 vaccine worth? Joan Costa-Font, Caroline Rudisill, Sayward Harrison, and Luca Salmasi estimate that the willingness to pay for a COVID-19 vaccine in the US, UK, Spain, and Italy in July 2020 ranged between 100 and 200 US dollars. However, the social value of the vaccine exceeds its […]

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    Present day partisanship and the legacy of structural inequality has helped fuel the spread of COVID-19 in Native nations

Present day partisanship and the legacy of structural inequality has helped fuel the spread of COVID-19 in Native nations

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The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on Native nations in the US with COVID-19 rates 350 percent higher among Native Americans compared to whites. In new research Raymond Foxworth, Laura E. Evans, Gabriel R. Sanchez, Cheryl Ellenwood, and Carmela M. Roybal contextualize the history of colonization and policy neglect by federal and state governments to explain the unequal […]

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    State mask mandates to address COVID-19 have been complicated by anti-mask measures often dating back to the 19th century.

State mask mandates to address COVID-19 have been complicated by anti-mask measures often dating back to the 19th century.

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, governors, attorneys general, and public health officials have scrambled to enforce social-distancing guidelines and mask wearing. Their efforts were opposed in several states by those who argue that mandatory face-coverings are unconstitutional. Efforts to enforce mask wearing have been complicated by legacy anti-mask legislation in almost 40 percent of states (and the District of Columbia), which […]

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    Why compromise is inevitable for Biden’s big infrastructure plans

Why compromise is inevitable for Biden’s big infrastructure plans

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Last week, President Joe Biden unveiled a federal budget totaling $6 trillion, which includes significant new spending on infrastructure. If passed in its entirety, the budget would increase federal spending as a portion of the economy to historic heights — reaching sustained levels not seen since World War II. In this Q&A, Thomas Gift examines the implications of this […]

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    Book Review: New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives by Alex de Waal

Book Review: New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives by Alex de Waal

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In New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two Hundred Years of War on Disease and its Alternatives, Alex de Waal offers a new political history of epidemics, identifying and critiquing a repeated mobilisation of the ‘war metaphor’ of pandemic disease to show our persistent (mis-)framing of biological illness. The book is an extremely comprehensive and fascinating history of previous epidemics, their metaphors and […]

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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 […]

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