“If I was a donor, I would certainly raise an eyebrow” about such perks, said Kathy Postel Kretman, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership. “In a public charity, the work is mission-driven, and it is not a private business, so with that comes a certain sense of accountability to the public — and these, to me, are beyond reasonable.”
The death of CoOportunity and the pressure surrounding Community Health Alliance demonstrate the difficulties new insurers face attempting to enter a marketplace that has traditionally been dominated by household names, said Sabrina Corlette, a lawyer and senior research fellow at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. The challenge is a major one for co-ops, which were created and funded by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
“It’s not for the faint of heart,” Corlette said.
District of Columbia exchange head Mila Kofman didn’t mince words about the upcoming challenges, saying Thursday, “We’re preparing for a lot of confusion, and we’re very worried.” The IRS needs to do more to educate people about the individual mandate and Obamacare tax credits, she said, questioning whether the agency has the resources it needs.
The truth is that agencies can accomplish a great deal in the next 24 months, according to Edward Montgomery, dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Montgomery was a former official in the Clinton and Obama administrations, and part of the faculty for the Partnership for Public Service’s “Ready to Govern” political appointee leadership program.
The findings are good news as “the goal of the Affordable Care Act was to move away from a paper-driven process,” Tricia Brooks, co-author of the report and a researcher at Georgetown University's Center for Children and Families, said Tuesday during a Kaiser webinar on the annual survey.
Admitting that it is neither the ’80s nor the ’90s anymore is the first step toward backing away from the Reagan-Thatcher view of economics that has been surprisingly durable for 35 years: that markets need little regulation, that social programs are overrated or even harmful, and that taxes should always be kept as low as possible.
And many community college students—even with that itsy, bitsy $3,347 annual tuition bill—are opting for loans. The average community college student owes $3,700, according to the Center for Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, which crunched numbers from the Department of Education.
"There is this ongoing puzzle, and economists are trying to figure this out," says Harry Holzer, a former chief economist for the Labor Department.
Holzer says that, historically, when unemployment has fallen to a number like December's 5.6 percent, the increased demand for labor has pushed wages up. Not this time.
Holzer also noticed a troubling incongruity last month between the 111,000 increase in the total number of US employees and the 273,000 decrease in the size of the labor force.
In that context, at least, so what if the unemployment rate dipped from 5.8 percent to 5.6 percent? “Most of that was driven by people leaving the workforce rather than gaining jobs,” Holzer said.
Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution and David Brooks, of the New York Times. They discuss the new Congress, Keystone XL Pipeline votes and terror in Paris.