Monday, August 16th, 2010 - 5:55
Monday, August 16, 2010 - 01:53
Intriguing articles, reports and commentary about the Recovery Act.
Community health centers received $2 billion in Recovery Act funding. In a piece from the Center for American Progress, Ellen-Marie Whelan provides an in-depth description of how these alternatives to hospitals help provide health coverage and control health costs, as well as what the benefit of that stimulus spending has been in economic activity. The article notes that these centers have received an additional $11 billion in the recently passed health care reform bill. Whelan notes, “Studies estimate that the provision of care in community health centers ultimately saves the U.S. health care system between $9.9 billion and $24 billion annually by eliminating unnecessary emergency room visits and other hospital-based care.”
Many localities that received stimulus-backed loans to fund water and sewer projects are having problems, according to an article by David Robinson in the Herkimer (NY) Telegram. Because there were more projects than grant monies to go around, and because loans still leave local taxpayers with large cost burdens, some projects, like a wastewater treatment plant in the village of Herkimer, aren’t getting done. The story also hints at a possible perverse incentive: projects that had code violations also may have had a greater likelihood at getting grant funding, to help ameliorate those issues. Herkimer officials say that by keeping up to code, they may have missed out.
Stateline writer Jake Grovum details the fascinating story of how Wisconsin found big Medicaid savings despite—or perhaps thanks to—a stimulus act ban on eligibility cuts. By finding some innovative ways to cut the budget, Wisconsin was actually able to expand coverage. The recent extension of enhanced federal Medicaid payments will prevent Wisconsin and other states from having to make even deeper cuts.