Blog posts

Blog Post

First Budget Seeks Specifics From 2016 Candidates

July 21, 2015

Iowa voters can play a critical role in encouraging the presidential candidates to explain how they would deal with the $18 trillion federal debt, according to a guest column this week in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

“Voters deserve to hear more than empty promises and simplistic solutions,” write Sara Imhof and Kim Reem. Both are involved in First Budget, a joint initiative of The Concord Coalition and Fix the Debt.

Blog Post

Lawmakers Should Not Block Medicare Payment Reforms

July 14, 2015

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a mandatory change in the way Medicare will pay providers of hip and knee replacements. The change will bundle such payments so that one fee pays for the doctor, hospital, device and rehab that goes along with the replacement surgery, instead of through discrete payments under the current fee-for-service system.

This is the first instance of HHS using authority from the Affordable Care Act to scale up a new method of payment based on positive results from payment-reform experiments.

Blog Post

Working With Congress to Focus on Fiscal Issues

July 14, 2015

The country needs a revitalized bipartisan discussion about the national debt and related fiscal challenges, according to Phil LaRue, a former senior advisor on Capitol Hill who recently joined The Concord Coalition as its director of government relations.

“The Congressional Budget Office's projections make clear that Democrats and Republicans must come together and take action to put our country on a sounder fiscal footing as soon as possible,” LaRue said. “If we do, we can pave the way to a brighter economic future for all of us.”

Blog Post

No More Detours on Responsible Highway Funding

July 13, 2015

In a good example of history repeating itself, Congress for the second year in a row is going down to the wire on a mid-summer deadline to replenish the Highway Trust Fund before it runs out of money.

If lawmakers can’t find a solution by July 31, states will not receive promised funding from the federal government to help pay for transportation projects, bringing many such projects around the country to an abrupt halt.