Archive for December 2017

Tax, Revenue, Spending Rankings in Perspective

Americans love rankings. We rank everything from Division 1 college football teams to states with the worst winters. (Without much trouble, you can probably guess which one Minnesota leads the nation in!) Policy nerds (like me) and politicians often talk about tax rankings. Less frequently discussed—but as or perhaps more important—are rankings of states based…

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Medical Billing: A Primer

In preparation for an upcoming article, we’re returning to the Safety Net Series to discuss the incredibly odd world of medical billing. This article will take a quick look at how prices are set, along with how the users of medical care interact with this system. The most important thing to understand how medical billing…

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Minnesota: the Best Run State in the U.S.

Minnesota progressives can tout a new achievement: the state was recently ranked the best run state in the nation, according to a 24/7 Wall Street report published by USA Today. This report is not based on an ideologically skewed methodology designed to prefer blue states over red states or vice versa, but on a wide…

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When Equal Unemployment Rates Are Not Equal

Minnesota and Wisconsin currently enjoy low unemployment rates relative to the rest of the nation. In addition, both states enjoyed an above average decline in unemployment rates since the beginning of the Great Recession. However, this does not mean that the economies of these states have performed equally well. Minnesota achieved its low unemployment rate…

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State Deficit Worse Than It Appears

True to expectations, the condition of Minnesota’s finances has deteriorated from what was projected at the end of the 2017 special session. Based on the November forecast released earlier today, a modest deficit is now projected for the current fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 biennium and a significant deficit is projected for the upcoming FY 2020-21…

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Alexander-Murray: Examining What This Bipartisan Bill Would Accomplish

So far in 2017, the vast majority of health care policy proposals, bills, and amendments have not had much input from progressives at the state or national level. Bills that generally have the goal of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act have followed a general blueprint of proposing legislation, holding as few hearings as…

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