News Article | May 23, 2017
Ivanka acts as if she were her father’s better angel and would have us draw a bright line between Trump’s views and her own. But that line is illusory Ivanka’s paid family leave program in Trump’s 2018 budget is the perfect metaphor for her role in the administration: it serves as a fig leaf for his most oppressive policies. She’s made women’s empowerment her signature issue, saying as far back as the Republican National Convention: “Policies that allow women with children to thrive should not be novelties, they should be the norm.” But to say the priorities signaled in her father’s blueprint for fiscal spending in 2018 undercut those priorities is an understatement. As Dawn Laguens of Planned Parenthood put it Monday: “This is the worst budget for women and women’s health in a generation.” Ivanka has positioned herself as her father’s better angel and would have us draw a bright line between Trump’s views and her own. But any line there is illusory. We saw this earlier this year, when she published a book expounding on women’s empowerment in the workplace as her father vocally defended alleged sexual predator Bill O’Reilly and quietly rolled back Obama-era protections for women workers. Now, the unveiling of Tuesday’s budget offers more of the same. Trump’s first comprehensive budget proposal as president would cut Planned Parenthood out of all federal programs – the first time a president has ever attempted such a thing. It calls for $610bn in cuts to Medicaid, the federal health program for the poor on which women disproportionately rely, and would shave $21.6bn from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or welfare. That amounts to a 13% cut to the program, which provides temporary financial assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children. The budget would also deny a key food support to poor mothers by slicing an estimated $191bn from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps. Women are about twice as likely as men to have received food stamps at some point in their lives, and minority women, who are more likely to be poor, even more so. It would also trim funding for The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), which gives poor moms money for baby essentials. “He’s literally taking baby formula out of the mouths of infants while claiming that he’s pro-family so I think people are going to see it for what it is, which is a figleaf,” said Jeremy Slevin of Hands Off, a new coalition of progressive groups to fight Trump’s budget housed by the Center for American Progress. Viewed in this light, Ivanka’s paid family leave program, which shakes out to less than $2bn annually over 10 years, is a relatively small consolation prize in a larger budget that would slash $1.7tn in entitlements disproportionately benefitting women. Her program would rely on a state by state patchwork to guarantee six weeks of paid leave to new parents. That’s certainly an improvement over existing federal paid leave policies in the US, which currently allow employees at certain companies up to 12 weeks of unpaid time away. But it doesn’t offset the larger losses in the budget to women – particularly poor women. Programs like Snap and Medicaid and WIC are intended to help the poorest of the poor. But to qualify for Ivanka’s six weeks of paid leave you have to already have a job. In other words, it’s a matter of taking money from the poorest mothers and redistributing it among richer ones. Perhaps this is what the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ Robert Greenstein had in mind when he told The Washington Post, Trump’s proposal would “feature Robin-Hood-in-reverse policies in an unprecedented scale”. Ivanka’s paid leave proposal is an improvement over current federal policy, and even an improvement over the one she put forward on the campaign trail which excluded fathers and adoptive parents. (The writer Prachi Gupta seems to have publicly embarrassed her out of doing that again.) But here as ever context matters. Paid leave is something that every other developed country in the world already has, and what Ivanka is proposing is still a less generous package than what other counties have, and what Democrats like Kirsten Gillibrand have put forward. She’s striving to take credit for something Democrats have long fought for and Republicans have long vociferously opposed – a policy that’s been propelled forward for decades on the backs of feminists and progressives. And now she’s doing what she has always done for the Trump administration: using this twig of an olive branch to encourage women to look past just how awful this administration really is for them. There’s good reason to think the paid leave provision won’t last. Republicans have repeatedly balked at such efforts, fighting a like-minded provision when Barack Obama pushed for it in 2015, and it may not be liberal enough for Democrats, who are pushing for more generous models. At this stage it’s entirely unclear if Ivanka’s paid leave plan can even get past Congress (the House and Senate will draw up their own versions). But helping women has never really mattered to Ivanka. What matters to her now, as ever, is helping herself. If the provision dies tomorrow it will have already accomplished her aim: it’s entirely clear is that it’s going to help Ivanka Trump’s brand.
News Article | May 23, 2017
Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertisers on this website. President Donald Trump's budget outline for fiscal 2018 calls for a major restructuring of the student loan program, including about $143 billion in cuts in student financial aid and loan repayment programs. Among the key White House budget cuts: eliminating federally subsidized loans, which go to students with financial need. Public-service loan forgiveness would also be ended. This is a relatively new option designed to benefit teachers, nurses, and others working in nonprofit or public sector jobs. “This budget only accelerates the growing student debt crisis,” says Maggie Thompson, executive director of Generation Progress, a youth-focused advocacy arm of the Center for American Progress. Presidential budgets are essentially wish lists, and Congress typically makes major revisions before passing any legislation. Critics of Trump’s budget are already contending that it contains math errors and overly optimistic projections, which are reasons some budget experts and Washington officials have already declared it “DOA.” Still, given the Republican-controlled Congress, some analysts think there’s a good chance that some portions of Trump’s budget may be enacted. “By making it clear that this is an administration priority, Trump gives lawmakers political cover to pursue their own higher education cuts,” says Clare McCann, senior policy analyst at New America, a think tank. Here are three major changes being proposed: Ending subsidized student loans. Undergraduates who are deemed to have financial need can qualify for these loans, which do not accrue interest while the borrower is in school and for six months after graduation. Some 6 million students per year receive subsidized loans. The interest deferral can make a big difference, especially for low-income students. According to an analysis by the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success, for someone who borrowed the maximum in federal loans ($23,000), eliminating the subsidy would mean a 15 percent higher debt load, or $4,350, over a 10-year repayment period. That analysis was based on the current federal undergraduate loan rate, which is a relatively low 3.76 percent, points out Debbie Cochrane, vice president at TICAS. Higher rates could push up the debt burden sharply. Federal loan rates will climb to 4.45 percent July 1. Ending public-service loan forgiveness. For college graduates struggling with student debt, there has been a valuable path to reducing that burden: working in a public service job. By doing so, and by making regular repayment for 10 years, you could get any outstanding loan balance forgiven, assuming you had federal loans. There have been problems with the program since it launched in 2007, including lack of clarity about which jobs qualify for forgiveness. And it is proving to be more costly than originally forecast. Still the first borrowers are becoming eligible for forgiveness this fall, though those who have taken out these loans already may be grandfathered in. “This cut really wallops those who need it most—people who need graduate degrees to pursue relatively low-paying careers in public service,” McCann says. Overhaul of income-driven repayment plans. Trump's plan would consolidate what are now numerous loan repayment programs into one. The program for undergraduates would require that students pay 12.5 percent of their discretionary income vs. the current 10 percent under the Pay As You Earn plan. The repayment term would be cut to 15 years, down from 20. For some undergraduates, the changes may result in a better deal, Cochrane says. Although the payments may be higher, the shorter repayment term could mean those who earn higher salaries later in their careers may come out ahead. But Trump’s loan repayment plan would create major problems for graduate students. Those higher repayments would be stretched over 30 years. “Most grad students will not see an advantage to using 30-year income repayment,” McCann says. “It’s a lot like taking on a mortgage.” “The White House budget cuts sends a troubling signal,” says Suzanne Martindale, a staff attorney at Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “It’s an indicator that the administration does not value higher education as a public good, one that makes a transformative difference in people’s lives and that benefits the nation as a whole.” More from Consumer Reports: Top pick tires for 2016 Best used cars for $25,000 and less 7 best mattresses for couples
News Article | March 2, 2017
KnowledgeWorks joins more than 35 national and state organizations in effort to advance policies that support dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high school opportunities WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - March 02, 2017) - A new policy coalition launched on Capitol Hill today to advocate for policies that increase student access to high quality college options in high school including dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment and early college high schools (ECHS). The College in High School Alliance (CHSA), a coalition comprised of more than 35 leading organizations, is committed to raising awareness and support for college pathway options that ensure students are more likely to graduate high school and persist to completion of a postsecondary degree. KnowledgeWorks is one of CHSA's five founding members. "Scaling approaches like ECHS is essential to our nation's long-term economic viability," said Judy Peppler, president and CEO at KnowledgeWorks. "But more importantly, ECHS opens the door for low-income, first-generation students to go to college. We are excited to be a part of CHSA and look forward to working with policymakers to grow these opportunities for students." ECHS, along with high-quality dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment, offers opportunities for high school students to take college courses for college credit. Students who participate in these school designs are more likely than their peers to graduate high school, immediately enroll in a post-secondary institution and persist to completion. KnowledgeWorks has nearly 15 years of experience partnering with schools throughout the country to build and implement highly successful ECHS environments, which have been field tested in 50 school districts across eight states. In those districts, 79 percent of students complete at least one year of college credit before they graduate high school. In addition, one in three earns an associate's degree or 60 hours of transferable college credit. "ECHS is a whole-school transformation approach that can effectively target students at risk of dropping out of high school," KnowledgeWorks Vice President of Policy and Advocacy Matt Williams said. "But without the necessary policy supports on a state and federal level, scaling ECHS will be nearly impossible. With our partner organizations through CHSA, we will have the collective power to hopefully improve the policy environment for these schools." CHSA advocates for greater support for these models at the federal, state, and local levels to significantly improve the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of students, particularly those from low-income and middle-class backgrounds. Its goals include: CHSA consists of over 35 national and state organizations committed to advancing the goals above. A steering committee comprised of Bard College, Jobs for the Future, KnowledgeWorks, the Middle College National Consortium, and the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships helps guide the work of the coalition. Additionally, the following organizations have joined CHSA as Associate Members: ACT, Inc.; Advance CTE; Alliance for Excellent Education; America Forward; American Association of Community Colleges; American Indian Higher Education Consortium; American Youth Policy Forum; Arkansas Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships; Association for Career and Technical Education; AVID Center; California Coalition of Early & Middle Colleges (CCEMC); Center for American Progress; Center for Excellence in Leadership and Learning -- University of Indianapolis; Complete College America; Educate Texas; Education Commission of the States; Foundation for Excellence in Education; Gateway to College; IBM; Indiana Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (INCEP); The Institute for Evidence-Based Change (IEBC); Michigan Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships; Michigan Early/Middle College Association (MEMCA); Missouri Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships; National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP); National Council for Community and Education Partnerships (NCCEP); New America; New England Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships; New York Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NYCEP); Ohio Alliance of Dual Enrollment Partnerships; Ohio Early College Association; SERVE Center, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; State Higher Education Executive officers Association (SHEEO); and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). About the College in High School Alliance The College in High School Alliance (CHSA) is a coalition of leading national organizations committed to policies that support high-quality dual enrollment, concurrent enrollment, and early college high schools. CHSA believes that greater support for these models at the federal, state, and local levels will significantly improve the secondary and postsecondary outcomes of students, particularly those from low-income and middle-class backgrounds. The Alliance welcomes the participation of any organization supportive of these issues as an Associate Member by contacting Alex Perry of the Majority Group.
News Article | February 21, 2017
CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--VillageMD, a national primary care management services provider, announces the appointment of Ezekiel “Zeke” J. Emanuel, M.D. to its board of directors. A key influencer in American healthcare policy and a pioneer of value-based care, Dr. Emanuel will advise VillageMD on strategies to expand its network of primary care physicians and promote its mission of enhancing the delivery of primary care. “The leadership team at VillageMD has created one of the most impressive healthcare solutions I have seen around the country. They are one of the very few companies focused on primary care that has demonstrated across multiple markets and multiple populations the ability to improve patient outcomes while reducing the cost of healthcare,” said Dr. Emanuel. “I think this company has the potential to change the model of healthcare delivery in America, and I’m excited to work with the Board to build upon the great work they are already doing.” “Zeke brings an incredible wealth of knowledge to VillageMD from his role as a physician, researcher, and influencer of American healthcare policy. Zeke uniquely understands the challenges that primary care providers face in trying to deliver the best health outcomes for their patients, and shares our same commitment to helping primary care thrive,” said Tim Barry, chief executive officer, VillageMD. “Zeke is going to be a great addition to our incredible Board and we are humbled that he has chosen VillageMD as his first private sector Board to serve on.” Dr. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor, and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Dr. Emanuel was the founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health and held that position until August of 2011. From January 2009 to January 2011, he served as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council. He is a breast oncologist and author. VillageMD’s primary care physician partners access the company’s data analytics, physician-based care coordination, and on-the-ground support resources, all of which have demonstrated significantly greater clinical improvements and lowered the total cost of care. VillageMD’s clinical care model also aids its physician partners in providing more personalized attention, education, and support via integrated care teams of health coaches, diabetes educators, pharmacists, and resource coordinators. The focus of the model yields improvements in physical health and emotional health as well as the overall wellbeing of patients. VillageMD is a leading national provider of primary care management services for healthcare organizations moving toward a primary care-led, high-value clinical model. The VillageMD solution provides data analytics, a physician practice-based care coordination model, and on-the-ground support resources to make improvements at the point of care, resulting in high quality clinical outcomes for all patient populations. VillageMD also provides access to value-based reimbursement contracts that reward physicians for delivering high quality, cost effective care. VillageMD works with physician groups, independent practice associations, and health systems to improve quality, deliver a first-rate patient experience, and lower total medical costs in the communities they serve.
News Article | February 21, 2017
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FOX News Channel (FNC) has signed oncologist and Affordable Care Act architect Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel as a contributor. In this role, effective immediately, he will offer healthcare and policy analysis across FNC and FOX Business Network’s (FBN) daytime and primetime programming. Emanuel is the Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and an op-ed contributor to The New York Times. Before joining the University of Pennsylvania in August 2011, he was the founding chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health and previously served as an associate professor at Harvard Medical School. From January 2009 until January 2011, Emanuel served as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council in former President Barack Obama’s administration, where he was notably one of the designers of the Affordable Care Act. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the chair of the meta-council on the Future of Health Care Committee for the World Economic Forum. Emanuel served on President Clinton’s Health Care Task Force, the National Bioethics Advisory Commission (NBAC) and on the bioethics panel of the Pan-American Healthcare Organization. Additionally, he has been a visiting professor at many universities and medical schools, including the Brin Professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Kovitz Professor at Stanford Medical School, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, UCLA and a visiting professor at New York University Law School. The recipient of numerous awards, Emanuel was elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Science, the Association of American Physicians and the Royal College of Medicine (UK). He also received the AMA-Burroughs Wellcome Leadership Award, the Public Service Award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the John Mendelsohn Award from the MD Anderson Cancer Center, a Fulbright Scholarship (which he declined), the President’s Medal for Social Justice from Roosevelt University and was selected as Hippocrates Magazine’s Doctor of the Year in Ethics. Emanuel developed The Medical Directive, a living will that has been endorsed by Consumer Reports on Health, Harvard Health Letter, The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among other publications. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles on the ethics of clinical research, health care reform, international research ethics, end of life care issues, euthanasia, the ethics of managed care and the physician-patient relationship. Emanuel’s work is featured in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and JAMA, among other medical journals. Additionally, he has authored six books and co-edited seven books, including “Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System,” “Brothers Emanuel: A Memoir of an American Family” and “Healthcare, Guaranteed: A Simple, Secure Solution for America.” Emanuel graduated from Amherst College and later received his M.Sc. from Oxford University in Biochemistry. He earned his M.D. from Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. in political philosophy from Harvard University, where his dissertation received the Toppan Award for the finest political science dissertation of the year. Additionally, he was a fellow in the Program in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School of Government. Emanuel completed his residency in internal medicine at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital and his oncology fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he later joined the faculty. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking news as well as political and business news. The number one network in cable, FNC has been the most-watched television news channel for 15 years and according to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll, is the most-trusted television news source in the country. Owned by 21st Century Fox, FNC is available in 90 million homes and dominates the cable news landscape, routinely notching the top ten programs in the genre.
News Article | February 23, 2017
The 89th Academy Awards will be celebrated this weekend, which means it’s also time to announce the winner of the 2016 National Education Policy Center Bunkum Award. We invite you to enjoy our 11th annual tongue-in-cheek “salute” to the shoddiest think tank report reviewed in 2016. This year’s Bunkum winner is the Center for American Progress (CAP), for its report, Lessons From State Performance on NAEP: Why Some High-Poverty Students Score Better Than Others. To learn who our editors judged to be Bunkum Award-worthy, be sure to watch the 2016 Bunkum Award video presentation, read the Bunkum-worthy report and the review, and learn about past Bunkum winners and the National Education Policy Center’s Think Twice Think Tank Review project: http://nepc.colorado.edu/think-tank/bunkum-awards/2016 About the Think Twice Think Tank Review Project: Many organizations publish reports they call research – but are they? These reports often are published without having first been reviewed by independent experts – the “peer review” process commonly used for academic research. Even worse, many think tank reports subordinate research to the goal of making arguments for policies that reflect the ideology of the sponsoring organization. Yet, while they may provide little or no value as research, advocacy reports can be very effective for a different purpose: they can influence policy because they are often aggressively promoted to the media and policymakers. To help the public determine which elements of think tank reports are based on sound social science, NEPC’s “Think Twice” Think Tank Review Project has, every year since 2006, asked independent experts to assess strengths and weaknesses of reports published by think tanks. Few of the think tank reports have been found by experts to be sound and useful; most, however, are found to have little, if any, scientific merit. At the end of each year NEPC editors sift through the reviewed reports to identify the worst offender. We then award the organization publishing that report NEPC’s Bunkum Award for shoddy research. The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) Think Twice Think Tank Review Project (http://thinktankreview.org) provides the public, policymakers, and the press with timely, academically sound reviews of selected publications. The project is made possible in part by support provided by the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: http://www.greatlakescenter.org The National Education Policy Center (NEPC), housed at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Education, produces and disseminates high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Visit us at: http://nepc.colorado.edu
News Article | February 22, 2017
ICE agents at a home in Atlanta, during a targeted enforcement operation aimed at immigration fugitives, re-entrants and at-large criminal aliens. (Photo: Bryan Cox/ICE via AP) Immigration policy experts lashed out Tuesday at the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to implement President Trump’s executive orders on immigration. “In my many years of practicing immigration law, I have not seen a mass deportation blueprint like this one,” Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that advocates for the rights of low-income immigrant families, said in a conference call with reporters. In two memos issued Tuesday, DHS Secretary John Kelly laid out sweeping new guidance for officers tasked with carrying out the president’s immigration policies. Those directives included a push to arrest, detain and deport a significantly broader pool of undocumented immigrants. Hincapié, who called the memos “breathtaking in scope,” was one of several experts in immigration policy and law who offered analysis of what she called the memos’ “most chilling details.” Chief among them was Kelly’s declaration that, while convicted criminals will remain a top priority for deportation, “the Department no longer will exempt classes or categories of removable aliens from potential enforcement.” In other words, virtually all undocumented immigrants — including those previously given a pass under an Obama administration directive that prioritized deportations of violent criminals, known gang members, and others deemed a threat to public and national security — may now be subject to deportation. “Everyone is a priority,” Hincapié argued. “These memos run counter to the rule of law,” she added, and their implementation “would wreak havoc on our economy, our families and our communities.” Tom Jawetz, vice president of immigration at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, agreed. “The dragnet represented by having a priority-free immigration policy is going to be massive,” he predicted, noting that the DHS memos also include a provision for the reinstatement and expansion of Secure Communities. A George W. Bush-era program that was dismantled under the Obama administration, Secure Communities enables local law enforcement agencies to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in identifying, arresting and detaining undocumented immigrants. Jawetz warned that the return of Secure Communities combined with elimination of enforcement priorities will “cause chaos and confusion throughout law enforcement agencies around the country” and “essentially reward jurisdictions that have a history of racial profiling.” Kelly, in contrast, argues that federal authorities need all the help they can get. “The surge of immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” he wrote in the memos, pointing to an increase in apprehensions along the southwest border from 2015 to 2016. Jawetz also expressed concern about a provision in the memos that moves to expand the expedited removal process that allows officials to deport certain undocumented immigrants without first putting them through court proceedings. Expedited removal is currently reserved for people caught within 100 miles of the U.S. border less than 14 days after they first entered the country. Under the new DHS guidance, that process could be expanded to include any undocumented person apprehended anywhere within the U.S. who cannot prove that he or she has been in the country for more than two years, Jawetz said. Undocumented immigrants not subject to expedited removal will be subject to detention for the duration of their deportation proceedings, unlike with the current policy, which allows for release and an order to appear at a later court hearing, according to the DHS memos. The memos also call for the construction of additional detention facilities along the southwest border to accommodate the inevitable influx of immigrants jailed under the new policies. Jawetz predicted that Congress will start to receive supplemental border requests over the next couple of months to pay for the new jails as well as the construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and the hiring of 10,000 immigration officers. “We’ll see how many tens of millions of dollars [Republicans] are willing to allocate to accomplish this mass deportation agenda,” Jawetz said. According to the memos, DHS will also seek to stem the flow of undocumented minors from Central America by threatening prosecution for anyone who “directly or indirectly facilitates the illegal smuggling or trafficking of an alien child into the United States.” “This is really painful,” said Jen Smyers, associate director for immigration and refugee policy for Church World Service. The memo, she argues, “drastically distorts terms like ‘smuggling’ and ‘trafficking’” and casts parents who send money to help children escape dangerous situations in places like Honduras and El Salvador as “conspiring to violate immigration laws.” As the new policies begin to take effect, Hincapié and others said they expect to see a continuation of immigration raids resulting in more people being detained at home, work and even such “sensitive locations” as hospitals, schools, or places of worship, where enforcement operations have been discouraged under existing ICE policy. Eight hundred congregations have recently joined the sanctuary movement nationwide, Smyers said, volunteering to provide shelter to people in fear of deportation. For now, Hincapié and the others said they are trying to figure out which of the memos’ provisions can be challenged through legal action, while also encouraging people to petition their representatives to Congress to push back against the executive orders. “I am confident that our country is better than this and we will prevail,” said Hincapié. “But this is a dangerous time that requires all of us to fight back against these policies.” President Trump denounces anti-Semitic attacks in the U.S. The most interesting man in the White House More than 1 million sign White House petition for Trump’s tax records
News Article | February 26, 2017
The Democratic Party’s 447 National Committee members elected former Obama labor secretary Tom Perez to be their new party chair on Saturday, in an unusually contentious race for what amounts to the top job for a party in transition. Mr. Perez, a favorite with the more centrist wing of the party allied with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, won 235 votes to the 200 captured by Rep. Keith Ellison (D) of Minnesota, a favorite with progressives who was leading slightly in polls coming into Saturday, according to CNN. The son of Dominican immigrants, Perez will become the first Latino to hold the post. The chair takes the lead role in the party’s organizing, messaging, and fundraising operations, and thus has substantial clout in redefining the Democrats' identity and pitch to voters, following their shock loss in the presidential election. Recommended: At convention, Democrats struggle with stereotypes – of other Democrats The DNC chair election comes at a time when the Democrats enjoy as little political control as they have in nearly a century, having lost 20 percent of their Senate seats, 25 percent of their House seats, 45 percent of their governors, and over half of state legislatures since 2009, according to the Associated Press. Several candidates, including Perez, campaigned on a promise to concentrate more on down-ballot races, as well as ramp up small-donor fundraising. But one of the most crucial questions for Perez may be how to interpret national demographic trends and translate them into Democratic strategy – itself a test of Democrats’ long-held notion that their future is assured by a natural-born coalition of minority and Millennial voters. Some Democrats see more progressive white voters – ie the "Bernie voters," who viewed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy with skepticism – as the part of the electorate that the next DNC chair needs to target. Demographic trends, they argue, tilt electoral dynamics in their favor, and away from the white working-class voters who came out in unexpected force for President Trump. "As Mrs. Clinton’s popular vote margin showed, there is still a new American majority made up of a meaningful minority of whites and an overwhelming majority of minorities,” wrote Steve Phillips, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who has written about demographic shifts and US politics. "Not only is there little evidence that Democrats can do significantly better with those white working-class voters who are susceptible to messages laced with racism and sexism, but that sector of the electorate will continue to shrink in the coming years. Nearly half of all Democratic votes (46 percent) were not white in 2016, and over the next four years, 10 million more people of color will be added to the population, as compared with just 1.5 million whites,” he wrote in a New York Times op-ed this month. Recommended: In Pictures Voices from the Democratic National Convention: What would bring America together? But others think these numbers obscure movement happening below the surface. The problem with the notion that Democrats will be able to fall back on demographic changes, say Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Jim Kessler of the centrist think tank Third Way, is threefold: the changes are concentrated largely in urban Democratic strongholds, voters cast ballots across parties more often than believed, and the rising proportion of voters who identify as liberal is offset by other factors, including a corresponding rise in conservative-identifying voters. “It is likely that this new path back to a majority will require winning more white voters,” they wrote in a recent report. "But more fundamentally, a new path to the majority will require targeting communications, policy ideas, and appeals based on values, beliefs, and experiences — not simply age or race." Perez’s election to the post may come as a surprise to some who expected Mr. Ellison to prevail, partly as a concession to the progressive wing. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont, a backer of Ellison, had posed the choice as one between the “failed status quo” and a “fundamental restructuring of the Democratic Party,” notes the Washington Post.
Daschle T.A.,Center for American Progress
Academic Medicine | Year: 2015
Public policy and technology are having and will continue to have an extraordinary impact on virtually every aspect of academic medicine. The effects of this combination of policy and technology transformations can hardly be overstated. It is critical to recognize these transformative forces and work to accept and even embrace them enthusiastically. The author examines five major transformative forces affecting academic medicine today: big data, greater transparency, new payment models, emphasis on wellness, and scope of practice. He discusses each of these transformative forces within the context of the current U.S. health care environment and offers suggestions for academic medicine to leverage them. It will take resiliency, innovation, collaboration, engagement in public policy debates, and strong leadership for this country to make the U.S. health care system the success it should be.
Boushey H.,Center for American Progress
Future of Children | Year: 2011
The foundations of the major federal policies that govern today's workplace were put in place during the 1930s, when most families had a stay-at-home caregiver who could tend to the needs of children, the aged, and the sick. Seven decades later, many of the nation's workplace policies are in need of major updates to reflect the realities of the modern workforce. American workers, for example, typically have little or no control over their work hours and schedules; few have a right to job-protected access to paid leave to care for a family member. examines three types of work-family policies that affect work-family conflict and that are in serious need of repair-those that govern hours worked and workplace equity, those that affect the ability of workers to take time off from work because their families need care, and those that govern the outsourcing of family care when necessary. In each case Boushey surveys new programs currently on the policy agenda, assesses their effectiveness, and considers the extent to which they can be used as models for a broader federal program. Boushey looks, for example, at a variety of pilot and experimental programs that have been implemented both by private employers and by federal, state, and local governments to provide workers with flexible working hours. Careful evaluations of these programs show that several can increase scheduling flexibility without adversely affecting employers. Although few Americans have access to paid family and medical leave to attend to family needs, most believe that businesses should be required to provide paid leave to all workers. Boushey notes that several states are moving in that direction. Again, careful evaluations show that these experimental programs are successful for both employers and employees. National programs to address child and elder care do not yet exist. The most comprehensive solution on the horizon is the universal prekindergarten programs offered by a few states, most often free of charge, for children aged three and four.