Month: June 2008

The “Why Not Portland?” Initiative and Its Pricey Goals

QuickPoint!

“Why Not Portland?” This is the question raised by supporters of a health insurance initiative for the roughly 9,000 uninsured students in Portland public schools. Proponents of the initiative plan to use taxpayers’ money to make basic healthcare available to children whose family incomes are too high to qualify for the Oregon Health Plan, but too low to afford health insurance. The program would cost the City of Portland and the school districts serving Portland an estimated 4.05 million dollars annually.

If included and passed in the (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Lack of Transparency at the Oregon Health Plan: Simple Questions, Difficult Answers

Cascade Commentary

Summary

Before Oregonians are asked to approve any expansion of state-sponsored health care, we deserve to know how existing state programs are working. Transparency is crucial to government accountability for tax dollars spent. (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Keep the Profit Motive in Health Care

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Why do many Oregonians think we should take the profit motive out of health care? At a public meeting in Portland last week, this theme was repeated and applauded over and over again.

Yet, when participants were asked about the recent trend toward $4 generic drug prescriptions, their views began to change. Why is (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Will Congress Put African-American Students in the Back of the Bus?

Matt WingardCascade Commentary

Summary

The D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program enjoys broad bipartisan support, yet Congress is about to end this life-saving chance for a better future for 1,900 District children. Educational opportunity for all students, especially for the most disadvantaged, should not be allowed to be a partisan issue. (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Is There Freedom to Move?

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

Imagine you want to start a business, but the government says you can’t unless your competitors approve. If you want to start a moving company in Oregon, that’s the gauntlet you have to run. Not surprisingly, existing movers haven’t let a new kid onto their block in the last two years.

It’s this onerous requirement that caused Pacific Legal Foundation to file a federal lawsuit against the state of Oregon last week on the grounds that (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Does Oregon Spend Too Much?

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary

Demographically benchmarking Oregon spending goes an important step beyond simply making government spending transparent. Without knowing how our spending compares to demographically similar states, we cannot even begin to answer the question “does Oregon spend too much?” (more…)

Read Blog Detail

The Ranking of Oregon State and Local Spending

Summary

This study updates past research to benchmark Oregon’s spending (Pozdena and Fruits 2004). Revenue and expenditure data are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s census of state and local governments for 2004–05 (Tables 1 and 2). Demographic data are from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Effective Asset-Building Coalitions Diversify

Sreya SarkarQuickPoint!

A recent report published by the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis discusses the importance of state-level asset-building coalitions in triggering public policies that support greater asset-building opportunities for people of all incomes.

Such coalitions call for diverse representation from around the state and inclusion of (more…)

Read Blog Detail

Ready to Learn, Ready to Work in Salem-Keizer

Sreya SarkarCascade Commentary

Summary

The Salem-area Ready to Learn-Ready to Work program helps high school students meet career-related learning standards and develop skills they need to succeed in the workforce or in college. This private-sector-led project is the kind of successful workforce training solution parents, employers, colleges and communities statewide are all looking for. (more…)

Read Blog Detail