Posts by marc stier

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.

What ACA Repeal Means in Pennsylvania

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We have seen politics in America take strange turns in the last few years, turns that often seem to reflect an almost total disregard of the basic facts of political and economic life. It is critical that we don’t allow this to happen in the debate about the Affordable Care Act. The consequences of repealing the ACA in Pennsylvania will be not only devastating, but deadly.

OP-ED: Combine spending restraint with new revenue

This piece originally appeared in the Erie Times-News, December 28, 2016.

Pennsylvania has been struggling with persistent budget deficits since the start of the Great Recession in 2008. And we at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center have been recommending a "balanced approach" to resolving the deficit from the beginning, one that combines restraint in spending with new revenues.

But since 2010, under Govs. Tom Corbett and Tom Wolf, the General Assembly has adopted an unbalanced approach. Spending has gone down but revenues have gone down faster. From 1994 to 2011, under both Democratic and Republican governors, the state spent 4.7 percent of the state's gross domestic product. During the Corbett years that fell to 4.3 percent as spending on education and human services were sharply cut. And while, thanks to Wolf, the state has been able to restore some of those cuts, spending in the last two years remains at the same level as in the Corbett years.

OP-ED: Pennsylvania needs a fairer tax system

This piece originally appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, December 26, 2016.

Pennsylvania faces another budget crisis. The combined deficit for this year and next is roughly $3 billion. It’s time all Pennsylvanians — and especially the members of our General Assembly — recognize that recurrent budget crises won’t stop until we fix our upside-down tax system.

OP-ED: Time to fix our upside-down tax system

This piece originally appeared in the York Dispatch, December 23, 2016.

Pennsylvania has been struggling with persistent budget deficits since the start of the Great Recession in 2008. And we at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center have been recommending a “balanced approach” to resolving the deficit from the beginning, one that combines restraint in spending with new revenues.

But since 2010, under Gov. Tom Corbett and Gov. Tom Wolf, the General Assembly has adopted an unbalanced approach. Spending has gone down but revenues have gone down faster. From 1994 to 2011, under both Democratic and Republican governors, the state spent 4.7 percent of the state’s GDP. During the Corbett years, that fell to 4.3 percent as spending on education and human services were sharply cut. And while, thanks to Wolf, the state has been able to restore some of those cuts, spending in the last two years remains at the same level as in the Corbett years.

OP-ED: The rich can take the hit - to fix the budget, they should pay their fair share

This piece originally appeared on Pennlive, December 23, 2016.

You remember how Lucille Ball would work her way into some kind of predicament and then look around and wonder how she got there? That’s how our state legislators seem to look at the budget deficit we are stuck with right now. They are looking around wondering how the current Pennsylvania budget deficit, which approaches $3 billion for this year and next year together, happened. 

But it didn’t just happen. It was the product of a series of long-term and short-term decisions made by legislators, sometimes with the help of our governors.