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Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project

As the various candidates for the office of President of the United States define themselves and throw their hat in the ring, we should probably take a good look at their position on the American workforce and the American workplace. Especially important will be how economic policy affects these two important areas of life–both the quality of life for most working families in the country and the quality of life at the community level as it relates to access to quality education and training for working families.

More via How the Great Recession Has Changed Life in America | Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Economic Recession, Economic Recovery, Family Policy, Job Sector, Mortgages, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Political Economy, Polls and pollsters, Presidential Election, Public Policy, Unemployment, Vote, WeSeeReason

Five million families and children will now sleep a little easier. How will the new Latino/Hispanic immigrant status impact healthcare policy?

Being “in the shadows” has long been a healthcare access issue.  The broken healthcare system has been aggravated by a broken immigration system. Immigration and healthcare are tied together in many ways, especially for the economically disadvantaged.

According to the New York Times:

What Is President Obama’s Immigration Plan?

President Obama announced on Thursday evening a series of executive actions to grant up to five million unauthorized immigrants protection from deportation. The president is also planning actions to direct law enforcement priorities toward criminals, allow high-skilled workers to move or change jobs more easily, and streamline visa and court procedures, among others. NOV. 20, 2014 RELATED ARTICLE

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Who could be affected?

The president’s plan is expected to affect up to five million of the nation’s unauthorized immigrant population, currently 11.4 million according to the Migration Policy Institute. It would create a new program of deferrals for approximately 3.7 undocumented parents of American citizens or legal permanent residents who have been in the country for at least five years. Deferrals would include authorization to work and would be granted for three years at a time.

It would also expand a program created by the administration in 2012 called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which allows young people who were brought into the country as children to apply for deportation deferrals and work permits. The plan would extend eligibility to people who entered the United States as children before January 2010 (the cutoff is currently June 15, 2007). It would also increase the deferral period to three years from two years and eliminate the requirement that applicants be under 31 years old. About 1.2 million young immigrants are currently eligible, and the new plan would expand eligibility to approximately 300,000 more.

It would not provide a path to full legal status or benefits under the Affordable Care Act. Officials have said that the president’s plan will not provide specific protection for farm workers or parents of DACA-eligible immigrants.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Family Policy, Feminization of Poverty, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Immigration, Latinos, Maternal and Child Health, Medicaid, News, Public Health, Public Policy,

Gap in Diet Quality Between Wealthiest and Poorest Americans Doubles, Study Finds

Healthy food is not easy to prepare, does not have a very long shelf life, and is more expensive than cheaper canned and mass produced “food” that contains fillers and other ingredients that return adequate profits, facilitate transportation, refrigeration, and distribution.

America’s food consumption and health connection problem goes well beyond socioeconomic issues of lack of cash and proximity and access to healthy food.  Our society’s economy produces commodities and commodities are distributed based on market forces of supply and demand.  Supply and demand pressures have thus far overpowered the traditional forces on the side of promoting community health.  The loosing forces are:

  • Social do-gooders
  • Philanthropy
  • Public health officials
  • Conscientious parents
  • Suburban focused and lead prevention efforts

In short, economic forces have thus far trumped social ideas and groups aiming to undo what are basically the macro and micro consequences of food production and distribution.

Any successful efforts in this area will have to have for-profit corporations at the table with philanthropy and government officials providing public policy leadership and incentives that appeal to corporate America’s economic interests and social responsibility (good corporate citizen) commitments.

More via Gap in Diet Quality Between Wealthiest and Poorest Americans Doubles, Study Finds.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, News, Parenting, Philanthropy, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy

RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing | The information from the experts has been published. What are you and other community stakeholders doing about it?

Are you familiar with the RWJ report titled “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health” by the Committee on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing, at the Institute of Penn Medicine (University of Pennsylvania Health System)?

As we know, initiatives like the one that produced this report, as recent as 2011, come and go.  What remains is the report and what committed professional like yourself and our colleagues do with the information.

We at The Policy ThinkShop were inspired by a nurse colleague not only to pullout this report but to post a comment on our blog for your benefit.

The link to the report follows:

http://www.thefutureofnursing.org/sites/default/files/Future%20of%20Nursing%20Report_0.pdf

According to the report:

“In 2008, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) approached the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to propose a partnership to assess and respond to the need to transform the nursing profession. Recognizing that the nursing profession faces several challenges in fulfilling the promise of a reformed health care system and meeting the nation’s health needs, RWJF and the IOM established a 2-year Initiative on the Future of Nursing. The cornerstone of the initiative is this committee, which was tasked with producing a report containing recommendations for an action-oriented blueprint for the future of nursing, including changes in public and institutional policies at the national, state, and local levels (Box S-1). Following the report’s release, the IOM and RWJF will host a national conference on November 30 and December 1, 2010, to begin a dialogue on how the report’s recommendations can be translated into action. The report will also serve as the basis for an extensive implementation phase to be facilitated by RWJF.”

The report explains the committee of experts charge in producing the study and report as follows:

The committee may examine and produce recommendations related to the following issues, with the goal of identifying vital roles for nurses in designing and implementing a more effective and efficient health care system:

  • Reconceptualizing the role of nurses within the context of the entire workforce, the shortage, societal issues, and current and future technology;
  • Expanding nursing faculty, increasing the capacity of nursing schools, and redesigning nursing education to assure that it can produce an adequate number of well prepared nurses able to meet current and future health care demands;
  • Examining innovative solutions related to care delivery and health professional education by focusing on nursing and the delivery of nursing services; and
  • Attracting and retaining well prepared nurses in multiple care settings, including acute, ambulatory, primary care, long term care, community and public health.

“In 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation approached the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to propose a partnership between the two organizations. The resulting collaboration became the two-year Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the IOM. The committee was chaired by former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, and the goal was to look at the possibility of transforming the nursing profession to meet the challenges of a changing health care landscape. The report produced by the committee, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, makes specific and directed recommendations in the areas of nurse training, education, professional …”

More on the initiative via About | RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Leadership, Maternal and Child Health, News, Philanthropy, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy,

World Health Organization | WHO calls on governments to do more to prevent alcohol-related deaths and diseases

No other substance on the planet is so embedded in our happiness and in our suffering like alcohol is.  As Americans, we are moving away from some forms of alcohol but are embracing wine with new vigor.  The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released an comprehensive report that enumerates alcohol consumption issues and social problems.  You can follow the following link provided by The Policy ThinkShop to read the full report.

Find your country profile and alcohol statistical highlights:

http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/publications/global_alcohol_report/msb_gsr_2014_2.pdf?ua=1

 

“Worldwide, 3.3 million deaths in 2012 were due to harmful use of alcohol, says a new report launched by WHO today. Alcohol consumption cannot only lead to dependence but also increases people’s risk of developing more than 200 diseases including liver cirrhosis and some cancers. In addition, harmful drinking can lead to violence and injuries.

The report also finds that harmful use of alcohol makes people more susceptible to infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

The “Global status report on alcohol and health 2014″ provides country profiles for alcohol consumption in the 194 WHO Member States, the impact on public health and policy responses.

“More needs to be done to protect populations from the negative health consequences of alcohol consumption,” says Dr Oleg Chestnov, WHO Assistant Director-General for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. “The report clearly shows that there is no room for complacency when it comes to reducing the harmful use of alcohol.”

Some countries are already strengthening measures to protect people. These include increasing taxes on alcohol, limiting the availability of alcohol by raising the age limit, and regulating the marketing of alcoholic beverages.”

 

Report highlights

The report also highlights the need for action by countries including:

  • national leadership to develop policies to reduce harmful use of alcohol (66 WHO Member States had written national alcohol policies in 2012);
  • national awareness-raising activities (nearly 140 countries reported at least one such activity in the past three years);
  • health services to deliver prevention and treatment services, in particular increasing prevention, treatment and care for patients and their families, and supporting initiatives for screening and brief interventions.

More via WHO | WHO calls on governments to do more to prevent alcohol-related deaths and diseases.

Filed under: Behavioral Health Outcomes, Blogosphere, consumers, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Public Health, Public Policy

Linking Research to Public Interest

At the Policy ThinkShop we are constantly trying to discover and share the most comprehensive and reliable public policy resources available to support you in your efforts to master specific policy areas.  One of these areas which impacts every aspect of our personal, public and private lives is education policy.

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is a good resource for everything education policy:

“As part of its mission to “promote the use of research to improve education and serve the public good,” AERA has enlisted the expertise of its members to provide comment on Supreme Court cases and federal legislation to support this mission.

Amicus BriefsAERA has provided scientific evidence in legal briefs submitted to the Supreme Court in cases involving social justice in education.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin 2012:  Amicus Brief Brings Education Research to Bear in Major Affirmative Action Case.

Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education 2006: Both cases, ruled on jointly by the Supreme Court, focused on district policies encouraging integration that allowed for race to be used as a “tiebreaker” for public choice of high schools in Seattle and as a factor in determining elementary school assignments in Louisville.

Grutter v. Bollinger 2003: Challenge of University of Michigan Law School admissions policy that the plaintiff unsuccessfully argued gave applicants from underrepresented minority groups a greater likelihood of being accepted than white applicants.

Gratz v. Bollinger 2003: Challenge of University of Michigan undergraduate admissions policy that allocated a certain number of points to applicants from underrepresented minority groups.”

More via Linking Research to Public Interest.

Filed under: access to education, Blogosphere, consumers, Education Policy, Education Reform, Parenting, Public Policy

Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment

Given the last decade of a deep and lingering economic downturn, mortgage failures, Wall Street scandals and scams that brought much misfortune to the otherwise fortunate, poverty is no longer a controversial topic that afflicts the few and shakes the policy corridors of Washington.  The new poverty, according to most experts, affects families and children, the hard to employ and many struggling families who face their at home kids’ college loan bills without the benefit of Jr.’s paycheck.

Perhaps now is a good “quiet and tranquil” time to study the issue of the less fortunate without the cacophony of stakeholder voices drowning out reason.  Perhaps now that Occupy this and that has all but disappeared, the issue of poverty can occupy the voices of reason …

To be sure, the JPB foundation and the Urban Institute have recently partnered to produce an intelligent overview and analytical tools for looking, not only at poverty, but at what they term “deep poverty.”

The Policy ThinkShop provides you with the following link at an article to peruse the issue or the following downloadable report which will give you a deeper look at the deep poverty issue:

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412983-addressing-deep-poverty.pdf

“The JPB Foundation engaged the Urban Institute to provide background on the problem of deep and persistent poverty in the United States. This paper summarizes the history of US antipoverty policies, synthesizes existing knowledge about poverty and deep poverty, and presents a framework for understanding the complex and multi-faceted landscape of antipoverty efforts today. It also draws on interviews with over 30 experts, philanthropists, and thought leaders in the field to review and distill the most current thinking about promising strategies for tackling deep and persistent poverty. Drawing on these facts and insights, we present a series of questions and choices that any foundation wishing to invest in this area would be well-advised to consider.”

More via Addressing Deep and Persistent Poverty: A Framework for Philanthropic Planning and Investment.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, access to education, Blogosphere, Children and Poverty, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Feminization of Poverty, Medicaid Expansion, News, Public Policy

The American Future is More Hispanic. How will that impact your career and business? The Policy ThinkShop keeps you informed … Hispanic Nativity Shift | Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project

America is changing.  The economy is changing.  How will this change impact your business, your career and your community?  These are important questions that cannot be answered without an intelligent look at the role that Hispanic community growth will have on our country–especially its urban centers.

The Policy ThinkShop provides you with one of the most important and consequential reports you will read this year:

http://www.pewhispanic.org/files/2014/04/2014-04_hispanic-nativity-shift.pdfThe Share of U.S. Hispanics Who Are Foreign Born is in Decline … as Hispanic Immigrant Population Growth Stalls

“After four decades of rapid growth (Brown, 2014), the number of Latino immigrants in the U.S. reached a record 18.8 million in 2010, but has since stalled, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.1 Since 2000, the U.S.-born Latino population continued to grow at a faster rate than the immigrant population. As a result, the foreign-born share of Latinos is now in decline.

Among Hispanic adults in 2012, 49.8% were born in another country, down from a peak of 55% in 2007. Among all Hispanics, the share foreign-born was 35.5% in 2012, down from about 40% earlier in the 2000s.”

via Hispanic Nativity Shift | Pew Research Center’s Hispanic Trends Project.

Filed under: analytics, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture Think, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Latinos, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Policy, Public Relations

The U.S. Hispanic population has increased sixfold since 1970 | Pew Research Center

There is no larger, more monolithic group in the US with less power and with less representation at all levels of the civic and private sectors of American society.  Of the 53 million hispanics, a whopping 33 million plus are Mexican American.  This means that the current immigration impasse is largely, both internally and externally, a Mexican problem.  You can think of it as a “Mexican American Problem” or as purely a Mexican problem but in any case, Mexican Americans are a relatively monolithic community with a strong sense of their past, and an ongoing connection to the mother land (incidentally, Mexican Americans do not have to divide their loyalties between North America, i.e., the USA, and modern day Mexico, because the lands between the Rio Grande and the territories beyond the Alamo have largely been one continuous playground to a Mexican community that can easily claim to be Native American.  The so called “pilgrims” have a weaker claim.

Answering the question “Why have Hispanics/Latinos been in the US for so long and achieved so relatively little?” would go a long way towards unlocking America’s potential and promise of another American century of success.  The clock is ticking and American leadership and policy makers are asleep at the wheel.  The Latino community leadership is asleep as well…

“The Hispanic population grew to 53 million in 2012, a 50% increase since 2000 and nearly six times the population in 1970, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, the overall U.S. population increased by only 12% from 2000 to 2012. Hispanic population growth accounted for more than half of the country’s growth in this time period.

U.S. Hispanic Population in 2012

Much of the growth is occurring in a relatively small geographic area. A Pew Research Center analysis last year found that the 10 largest counties by Hispanic population accounted for 22% of the national Hispanic population growth between 2000 and 2011. Half of these counties are located in California.

Nationally, Mexicans are the largest Hispanic origin group but the composition of origin groups varies by geographic area. For example, while Mexicans represent a majority of Hispanics in all but 11 states, Puerto Ricans are the largest group in New York and New Jersey and Cubans are most populous in Florida.”

More via The U.S. Hispanic population has increased sixfold since 1970 | Pew Research Center.

Filed under: access to education, analytics, Blogosphere, consumers, Culture, Culture Think, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Demographic Change, Discrimination, Education Policy, Education Reform, ethnicity in politics, Immigration, Latin American Alliances, Latinos, Leadership, Minority Males, New American Electorate, New Electorate, News, Public Policy

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