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Entries in Josiah Bartlett Center (134)

Saturday
Feb082014

Josiah Bartlett Center - Minimum Wage Hike Will Hurt Entry Level Workers Most 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

Minimum Wage Hike Will Hurt Entry Level Workers the Most

Proposals at the state and national level to increase the minimum wage will hurt the job market, decrease the number of jobs available, and hurt the people advocates are trying to help. Specifically, the higher wage will make it more expensive to hire entry level workers and reduce opportunities for lower skill workers trying to build job experience.

The current federal and state minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. It is a minimum that affects few employees. Nationally, only 2.7% of all wage and salary workers earn the minimum or less (1.2% of workers are at the minimum while 1.5% have jobs that can legally pay less than the minimum like golf caddies, outside sales, or farm labor).

Economists are paraded about by both sides to advocate for and against and to discuss the effects. A 2007 National Bureau of Economic Research paper reviewing the literature found “a lack of consensus about the overall effects on low-wage employment.” But lest you think the research is completely up in the air, the authors noted “the studies that focus on the least-skilled groups provide relatively overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups.”....Click here to keep reading

Saturday
Feb012014

Josiah Bartlett Center - Stagnant New Hampshire and Obamacare Enrollment

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire


Are we Doomed to Be a Stagnant State?
New Hampshire is complacent. As a state we seem to have accepted stagnation as a way of life and are just trying to figure out how to adapt to it. The vision of New Hampshire as an island of prosperity is receding as policymakers increasingly decide they must adopt rather than fight economic mediocrity.

In the not too distant past, New Hampshire was a beacon of economic growth and opportunity. We spent decades as one of the fastest growing states in the country. More people and more jobs went hand in hand....
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A Obamacare Enrollments Top 11,000
and a First Look at the Pool

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, a total of 11,446 New Hampshire residents have selected a health insurance plan through the Federal Exchange. This represents a net increase of 9,877 in the month of December. Of course, this is still well short of the 22,000 who will lose coverage due to the passage of the new healthcare law.

Since open enrollment began, the federal exchange has received 19,441 applications from Granite Staters for insurance coverage for 30,204 individuals. Of these thirty some odd thousand, 26,621 were ruled eligible to get policies on the exchange, with just over half (13,516 to be exact) qualifying for subsidies...
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Friday
Jan242014

Josiah Bartlett Center - We Need to Insist on More Boring Stories 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire

The most sensational stories make the news but the most important work of the legislature is too boring for anyone much to care. The sensational stories will have little or no impact on New Hampshire. The boring stories have a long lasting but not sensational impact for years to come. That fundamental conflict is the long term struggle good public policy faces and it will be on display this year.

Some issues are more fun than others. The state’s House of Representatives passed a law legalizing marijuana last week. Certainly the debate raises interesting issues about changing societal attitudes, whether a prohibition structure is effective, the government’s legitimate role in drawing a line between legal and illegal substances. But the media response to the issue is all out of proportion to the issue’s relevance to current affairs....Click here to keep reading

Sunday
Jan192014

Josiah Bartlett Center - What’s Noteworthy Here is the Governor’s Chutzpah 

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire


What's Noteworthy Here is the Governor's Chutzpah
 

The governor would like to spend state revenues directly for scholarships to be used at any approved school, public or private in the state. At the same time, in the same term, she is arguing that legislation that does the same thing is an unconstitutional breach that must be stopped. Rarely has any leader been so directly and perfectly contradictory.

In her budget address just eleven months ago, Gov. Hassan proposed spending $4 million from the state treasury directly to pay for “need-based scholarships that can be used at both public and private colleges.” This is not an unreasonable program. To allow lower-income students access to greater educational opportunity, the governor wants to target limited dollars to them. Rather than dictate a list of specific providers, the governor believes students and their parents should choose from any licensed school, public or private, religious or secular, in-state or out-of-state to develop the best educational option for that specific student....Click here to keep reading

Saturday
Jan112014

Josiah Bartlett Center - The Rainy Day Fund & ER Usage Under Medicaid Expansion

Weekly Update from the
Josiah Bartlett Center


Keeping you up to date on our latest research
on the issues impacting New Hampshire


Demand that the Legislature Follow its Own Budget Law
 

The law requires that any surplus be automatically deposited into a Revenue Stabilization Account, commonly called a rainy day fund.  In theory, the money is a small reserve collected in good times and set aside for unexpected shortfalls (just as you might save at home in case your furnace dies).

Politicians, however, are not happy planning for the long term at the expense of their current needs. In this way, they are similar to small children who are still developing impulse control.

Saving money to avoid a crisis five or ten years from now is not nearly as politically fun as spending it now and making someone happy before the next election. As a consequence, politicians of both parties routinely enact a “temporary suspension” of the rainy day fund law as part of the budget. That way the leftover money from before can be spent rather than saved....Click here to keep reading

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  A few years ago, Oregon chose to expand Medicaid coverage to the population now under consideration for coverage here in New Hampshire. In Oregon’s case, state funds would cover the total cost of the program. The problem for Oregon policy makers was that there was only enough money available to cover some, not all, of those eligible. To remain fair, coverage in the expanded Medicaid program was chosen by lottery.

This lottery presented a unique opportunity for researchers. Given the nature of the process, it created a randomized sample that received Medicaid coverage, while those that did not became a de facto control group. Budgetary limits had created the perfect case study to analyze the effects of Medicaid Expansion.

So far the results have 
been mixed, but the recent data on emergency room (ER) usage is troubling. After 18 months, the study has found that ER usage among the newly covered Medicaid population was 40% higher than the control group. Not only is this a sharp increase in real terms, but keep in mind the control group; it is people with no insurance coverage at all, who often uses emergency rooms as their primary source of healthcare.... Click here to keep reading
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