Capitol Comments

The RAND Corporation published in July’s Health Affairs an article that asks and answers that central question: “Could We Have Covered More People At Less Cost? Technically, Yes; Politically, Probably Not.”

Chris Whatley, director of the CSG DC office, reported in a staff meeting today that the extension of the enhanced Medicaid match appears to be dead for now. Last week for the third time, Democrats in the U.S. Senate failed to round up enough votes. Politico reports that Majority Leader Reid has pulled the bill from the agenda. The failed vote also leaves some longtime unemployed persons without unemployment benefits.

Though I predict climate change legislation will not pass in 2010, it will come to pass, most likely beginning with a utility sector cap.  Thus, it is essential to advance the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in order to curb coal-fired power plant emissions.    

Governing magazine offers three lessons for government officials at all levels from the oil spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. The author, Steven Goldsmith, suggests that the lessons are relevant far outside of the current environmental disaster.

If you attended the CSG Economic Summit in New York in May and enjoyed Vincent Covello, these communication lessons fit right in with his presentation on crisis communication.

Ezra Klein of the Washington Post asks this question:  "Did the stimulus a) work; b) fail; c) end up locked in an unexpected battle with the massive anti-stimulus that's ripped through the states?"

The NY Times reports that Democrats failed again on Thursday, June 17, to win enough votes to move forward on approving the enhanced Medicaid match extension that many states are counting on in their FY 2011 budgets. “We’re not going to give up,” said Senator Harry Reid.

Shy of 60 votes in the Senate, a still shaky economy, and November elections all lead to the forecast that climate change legislation, featuring a cap and trade element, is unlikely to happen in 2010.

Despite losing a vote yesterday, U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has vowed to continue to fight to add the six-month extension of the enhanced Medicaid match to HR 4213, the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act. The act will also extend unemployment benefits that have already run out for some Americans.

Senate Democrats are reported to be shrinking...

Where Americans are Moving

Immigration may be getting the big headlines, but probably more impactful for cities and states is the migration within the United States - both of people and of wealth. Forbes.com has a new interactive map detailing county-to-county migration patterns across the country...in many cases down to the person. How many poeple moved into or out of your community? Where did they come from or where did they go?

Today Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, announced the availability of $250 million to expand the primary health care workforce. The funds are part of the federal reform legislation passed in March.

The funds will be used to expand the number of primary care physicians by 500 by 2015 and support training for additional physician assistants and nurse practitioners. States will be granted $5 million to plan and...

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