Original Reporting

Original Reporting | | Health care, Insurance
Most people are aware of the billions of dollars a year that private insurance companies spend on administrative costs. But the health insurance system in the United States also imposes a large burden in time and resources on physicians, hospitals, and employers. Researchers have estimated the total administrative cost associated with billing and insurance across the economy at more than $400 billion a year, or 15 percent of health care spending. Despite calls by some policy makers and advocates to reduce the administrative burden, several researchers said that many of the costs are inherent in a for-profit, multi-payer insurance system, and cannot be significantly reduced without fundamental structural change.More
Original Reporting | | Law, Role of government
With LSC funding effectively 70 percent lower than it was in 1981, the program is unable to meet critical needs of lower-income families across the country.More
Original Reporting | | Advertising, Alternative models, Housing
Though engaging marketing has shifted consumer preferences on a range of products, people tend to think that preferences for traditional suburban neighborhoods are set in stone. Advertisers say they’re wrong.More
Original Reporting | | Budget deficit, State government, Taxes
Despite the fact that revenues in many states are recovering, budget cuts that were once described as undesirable but unavoidable are being left in place (or even exacerbated) as numerous state legislatures opt to double down on tax cuts.More
Original Reporting | | Poverty, Religion
The Catholic Church in the United States has long been active in charitable efforts to ameliorate poverty. But when it comes to flexing political muscle on anti-poverty advocacy — that is, battling the structural causes of poverty — it appears that a less robust effort has been made in recent years than has been devoted to other issues. Is this because the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (the USCCB) has not defined poverty as an “intrinsic evil" as it has done with abortion and some other Church concerns? What else could the USCCB be doing to advance an anti-poverty agenda? Does the USCCB's own pastoral letter from 1986 — "Economic Justice for All" — provide guidance?More
Original Reporting | | Civil liberties, Law
Three cities set to host large, political gatherings in the next few months are working to impose a variety of “spatial tactics” to restrict where, when, and how demonstrators will be able to exercise their First Amendment rights of free speech and assembly. While legal scholars say that many of these tactics may not be unconstitutional, civil libertarians and good-government advocates argue that they are inconsistent with the proper goal of public policy: welcoming and encouraging free speech.More
Original Reporting | | Health care, Medicine, Regulation
A recent study showed that the adoption of information technology by physicians did not reduce the number of procedures performed. Our reporting on that study, and on the responses to it, reveals far-reaching implications that are not yet widely appreciated: the overriding focus on cost-cutting has subordinated the goal of improving access to and quality of care, and has ignored entirely the phenomenon of underutilization of appropriate medical interventions.More
Original Reporting | | Alternative models, Pensions
U.S. pension funds have billions of dollars in assets and a very long-term investment horizon, making them a unique kind of investor. But, while pension funds could play a powerful role in shaping financial markets, they currently act more like customers than dealmakers, partially because of their reliance on private money managers to invest those assets for them for large fees. If that reliance were reduced and other legal, political, and cultural obstacles overcome, ⎯ many experts said that the funds could improve their investment strategies at the same time they open the door to socially responsible investing, mission investing, and shareholder activism.More