Category Health Policy

With Tax Plan, Senate Submits Bid to Destabilize ACA Marketplace

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives Senate Republicans announced that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, heralded as the first potential legislative achievement of the Trump era, will also include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate. Republican lawmakers cite public budgeting and political reasons for repealing the mandate’s tax penalty […]

Amid Signs of Stability, White House Injects Uncertainty into ACA Marketplace

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives Just this past summer, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan announced that insurance premiums in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace would rise by eight percent, on average, in 2018 to compensate for the anticipated increase in health care costs. Fast forward to mid-October, when […]

Weigh The Evidence: The Potential of Medical Marijuana to Address The Opioid Epidemic

By Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives  Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently delivered a two-word verdict on medical marijuana as an antidote to the ever-growing opioid epidemic: “it’s stupid.” However, there are a lot of smart people who, based on a growing body of clinical research, would confidently disagree with Mr. Sessions’ assessment. […]

If it ain’t broke, don’t repeal it

Steve Bruns, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives In 1977, Bert Lance, director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Jimmy Carter, urged the federal government to operate using a simple motto: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Lance explained, “That’s the trouble with government: Fixing things that aren’t broken and not fixing […]

Medical Cures Moves to the Senate, but Funding Questions Complicate Future

Paul Melmeyer, MPP Earlier this summer the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act  by a 344-77 vote, and the bill was unanimously approved by the Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee of jurisdiction in the House of Representatives that oversees much of the U.S healthcare system. The bill includes policy reforms for the National […]