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A Tale of Two Prisons

The problem of inmates receiving quality health services while incarcerated has been in the public eye for some time now, particularly because of prisons such as Rikers that have demanded reform from legislators. TCF policy associate Clio Chang brings another, less known issue into question, however, with her article that takes a closer look at Willacy County Correctional Center in Raymondville, Texas. The difference here is that Willacy is a federally contracted private prison that mostly houses noncitizens who have tried to reenter the US after being deported. The health services at Willacy fare much, much worse for a number of reasons, despite the recent riot by inmates there.

While public prisons like Rikers can become dysfunctional, the profit margins of private prisons can be greatly enhanced by having lawmakers send over more inmates. Thus it's no surprise that the three biggest private prison companies -- CCA, GEO, and MTC -- have spent more than $45 million on lobbying and campaign contributions since 2000.

Clio's article is featured in RealClearPolicy.

Tags: rikers island, prison reform, prison healthcare, immigration reform

SCOTUSblog: Afternoon Round-up: Today’s Argument in King v. Burwell

Yesterday TCF's President Mark Zuckerman wrote a piece on the King v. Burwell case and his first-hand experiences during the drafting of the Affordable Care Act as staff director of one of the three House committees that wrote, managed, and passed the law. The post was included in SCOTUSblog's afternoon report of the day's coverage of the case.

See the full round-up, including Zuckerman's article, on SCOTUSblog here.

Tags: supreme court, king v. burwell, affordable care act, aca

ACA Subsidies Are for All States—I Should Know, I Was There

March 4, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Mark Zuckerman TOPICS: Social Insurance, Continuing Health Care Reform

TCF president Mark Zuckerman explains why the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell are dead wrong about the Affordable Care Act.


Why the Supreme Court Should Keep Health Insurance Affordable

February 27, 2015 COMMENTARY BY: Mike Cassidy TOPICS: Social Insurance, Continuing Health Care Reform

TCF policy associate Mike Cassidy looks at what the King v. Burwell Supreme Court case ignores: Americans love social insurance.

Tags: obamacare, obama, king v. burwell, health insurance, affordable care act, aca

If You Want to Know Who Gets Health-care Handouts, Look In the Mirror

Next week, the Supreme Court is set to hear the King v. Burwell case in the latest attack on Obamacare. While many Americans polled said that they are in favor of scaling back Obamacare subsidies, many of those same individuals did not realize that in some way, most of those who have health insurance benefit either directly or indirectly from government health-care subsidies. The fact that so many are unaware of the ways in which they themselves benefit from government subsidies refers to a concept called the "submerged state," a term that was coined by TCF fellow Suzanne Mettler.

These kinds of little-noticed subsidies are part of what Cornell professor Suzanne Mettler has memorably dubbed the “submerged state.” You see, we Americans aren’t trying to be hypocrites when we proclaim handouts-for-me-but-not-for-thee. We just often don’t realize we’re getting handouts in the first place.

Read a new article in The Washington Post that discusses how the idea of the submerged state refers to the Affordable Care Act debate.

Tags: suzanne mettler, supreme court, subsidies, submerged state, healthcare, affordable care act

Killing Obamacare Would Kill Americans

It's no secret that Republicans have been fighting the Affordable Care Act for years. In fact, Republicans in Congress have voted to repeal it, defund it, or change it 67 times to date. TCF fellow Michael A. Cohen discusses this relentless battle and why these efforts to kill Obamacare are literally killing Americans in the process.

All too often GOP opposition to Obamacare is described as a political dispute. It’s much more than that, however. Repealing Obamacare, removing federal subsidies for millions of people, and denying Medicaid expansion are all affirmative political acts that will hurt, and even kill, Americans. The Republican position might reflect the party’s strongly held views, but that doesn’t make it any less monstrous.

Michael's full commentary can be found in The Boston Globe.

Tags: uninsured americans, supreme court, republicans, obamacare, healthcare, gop congress, congress


Social Insurance

Social Insurance

Compared to other advanced nations, America’s retirement security and health care systems offer weaker protections against risks we all face. The Century Foundation’s work focuses on ideas for strengthening Social Security, pensions, and health care – including steps for building on the Affordable Care Act.

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