Month: October 2015

Consumer Protection in Healthcare is the Next Wave After King v. Burwell

The partisan divide on many aspects of healthcare reform is often obvious, particularly in Texas. This was yet again on clear display during the October 17 panel “After King v. Burwell, Now What?” at the fifth annual Texas Tribune Festival. And yet, even as panelists engaged in predictable topics of debate, some signs of bipartisanship ultimately emerged. This was all the more impressive considering the diverse makeup of the panel, which included Michael Burgess of the US House of Representatives; Spencer Berthelsen, formerly of the Texas Medical Association; Anne Dunkleberg of the Center for Public Policy Priorities; and Arlene Wohlgemuth of the Texas Public...

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The Militarization of Peace in Colombia Shows A Need for Change in US Foreign Policy

Third and final in a series by Marcelle Cohen (LBJ School student in Master of Global Policy Studies) covering her internship at La Allianza Iniciativa de Mujeres Colombianas por la Paz. “I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we’re really talking about peace.” — George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States “WAR IS PEACE.”– 1984, George Orwell During the Cold War, the global South became the ideological battleground in which the global North waged war. In this sense, the Cold War was only cold in Europe and North America. The United States and the...

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Roseburg and Sandy Hook are Not the Problem

The mass shooting in Roseburg, Oregon, was a horrible, tragic event. Mass shootings like that reach across the country and tear at our hearts with their senseless and brutal loss of life. They are terrifying, and there is no question that they should not be happening. However, they are not the problem. They are certainly a problem, but when it comes to firearms deaths in this country, they are not the problem. Not even remotely. This seems like heresy to a generation that grew up doing lockdown drills in the wake of Columbine, but the fact is that Roseburg-style...

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The Great Texas Land Grab: Municipal Annexation and the “Right” to Decide Where You Live

Back in August, I attended a Policy Primer titled “The Great Texas Land Grab” hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). The majestic offices were appropriate for a group that can (through its affiliation with the State Policy Network) trace a significant portion of its funding to the Koch brothers. There were three panelists scheduled to speak about the issue of municipal annexation: State Senator Donna Campbell, State Representative Dan Huberty, and Mayor Art Martinez of Von Ormy, Texas. Director James Quintero of the Center for Local Governance was the moderator and he began by reminding everyone of...

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The Mission Driven Conference and Meaningful Data

This week I attended Mission Driven, a conference focused on social impact hosted by Mission Capital (formerly known as Greenlights). Mission Capital is an Austin-based non-profit concentrated on building collective solutions to large social issues. The conference brought together the public, private, and non-profit sectors, which is increasingly common as trends toward whole-system thinking grows. The fields of finance, business, development, and social work are mixing as these sectors move toward collective solution-building. As such, the conference dove heavily into issues of non-profit management in a changing landscape, investing, and funding; all of which focused on whole-system thinking. Nirav Shah,...

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