Partially in response to a 2009 crash on the Washington, DC Metro system, which killed nine, Congress made safety an underlying concern of federal transit policy. This tragedy, combined with the knowledge that while fatality rates have fallen in other modes, rates incurred from transit have stagnated, became a call for action for the federal government to not only better oversee the safety of America’s transit system but also to fundamentally change the way the transit sector considers safety.
A conference committee between the Minnesota State House and Senate recently announced an agreement to resolve differences in two competing proposals to expand the solar energy requirement for investor-owned utilities. Under the proposal, investor-owned utilities (such as Xcel Energy and Minnesota Power) must generate 1.5 percent of its electricity from solar power by 2020.
“That sigh of relief you heard Monday was from hospital administrators in nearly two dozen states, including Florida and Texas.”
This is how the Kaiser Health News described the reaction to the Obama administration announcement that the anticipated reduction in special Medicaid payments to hospitals for care of the uninsured will not penalize states that have not expanded their Medicaid eligibility guidelines.
Elise Gould and Natalie Sabadish at the Economic Policy Institute recently took a look at health expenditure data and found some interesting patterns – chiefly that health spending in this country is distributed extremely differently among certain groups. As their cool infographic below shows, a big chunk of what we spend as a country on health care goes to a tiny fraction of the population. In fact, half of all health care dollars are spent by only five percent of the population, while the top 20 percent of spenders consume 82 percent of all health-care dollars.
$2 Million Ad Campaign Opens in Colorado and Feds Release 3-page Application
Colorado is the first state to launch a major ad campaign to drive citizens to the state health insurance exchange to purchase insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act, the exchanges must be open for enrollment on October 1, 2013, and for coverage beginning January 1, 2014. This TV ad is airing in Colorado.
A gas tax increase in Minnesota appears dead for this session. A plan to index Louisiana’s gas tax to inflation failed to win votes this week. And transportation funding plans are moving forward in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania but face political challenges ahead. Here’s the latest roundup of what’s going on around the country as states seek solutions to meeting their transportation needs.
Late last month the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of the Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann. At issue in the case is whether the Tarrant Regional Water District in Texas has the right to access water from the Red River in Oklahoma under the terms of the Red River Compact. The case has received considerable attention for its potential impact on rapidly growing metropolitan areas facing water shortages and its potential impact on resource management compacts.
VA Circuit Court Judge Decision Declares Tunnel Tolls Unconstitutional; Could Impact Other Public-Private PartnershipsBy Sean Slone | Monday, May 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm
A Circuit Court judge’s decision in Virginia could spell trouble for a tunnel project already under construction in the Norfolk-Portsmouth area and could have broader ramifications for the future use of public-private partnerships (P3s) in the commonwealth. I also have links to a number of other recent items on tolling and P3s and more on a conference this summer that will bring these issues into sharp focus.
Tesla Motors, the makers of high-end electric vehicles, is expected to post its first ever profit due in large part to an environmental credit program managed by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) under the Zero Emissions Vehicle mandate. Under the regulation, 15 percent of all new car sales in California must come from vehicles classified as "zero emission" by 2025. According to Wall Street analysts, the ARB's credit program could be worth up to $250 million for Tesla.
There is good news and not so good news in recent diabetes data released by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, more than half of all persons with diabetes met individual A1C, blood pressure and cholesterol treatment goals. However, just one in five persons with diabetes was able to meet or exceed all three goals in 2010. This achievement is a marked improvement from just 2 percent who met all three goals in 1988.